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Data centric companies enjoy a meaningful competitive advantage
But what does it mean to be data centric? Amongst other things, the leading data centric companies:
- Have a holistic view of the interactions of each customer through all delivery and support channels
- Collect feedback on product performance in near real-time and feed that back into the product management and development process
- Access external sources of data to provide a market centric feedback loop on performance
- Run and manage the business on forward looking operational indicators, rather than relying on backwards looking financial metrics, and deeply understand the relationship between these measures.
If you feel your company is a long way away from that vision, don't despair. The hardest step in making this transformation is starting the journey, and at dmi we help you work through your overall strategy and break it down into manageable initiatives that allows you to move towards your goal in a controlled way.
Read on to understand some of our methodology for getting started with your data strategy. Or call us if you'd like to engage further.
Building and implementing a data strategy
Building a data strategy starts with the development of a clear vision for how you want data to support your business. How do the examples of data centricity above translate into specific and tangible goals for your company? What does a holistic customer view mean for you? What are the key elements of your product set that you need to monitor closely? Answering these questions (and similar ones across all your key business domains) builds a rich picture of what a future data-centric world should look like.
With that vision of the future, you can assess your current state against it and identify and prioritize the gaps that need to be filled. In what areas are you struggling due to siloed information, or because of a lack of external benchmarks? A thoughtful diagnosis of the gaps will pull out the most important themes which you can use to develop the brushstrokes of your data strategy.
For example, one of our clients identified a gap in their understanding of how users interacted with the various website content assets they owned. With customer data from each website gathered separately, they identified the additional value they would gain from a more holistic view of the customer, and identified gaps in both data gathered and inter-operability.
With assessment work completed, you’re in a position to consider the strategic design of your path towards the vision, considering the enhancements or changes you may need to make to people, process, technology and data to achieve tangible outcomes that deliver value on a regular basis. There may be data cleansing and enhancement work to ensure the integrity of data across different parts of the organization, as well as the introduction of additional tools to support the required interoperability.
This is the stage at which you should consider the degree of strategic versus tactical design. In the early stages of transformation, piloting new ideas with tactical approaches may make sense in the interests of learning quickly with a reasonable cost profile. However those choices should be considered in the context of the ultimate strategic outcome you are seeking, to understand how these paths will converge over time with minimal throwaway work.
For implementation, you need to be considering both your approach and the resources required for a successful outcome. For approach, short sprints of work focused on delivering customer value on a regular basis are very common nowadays. In some cases that approach may not be feasible, or may not make sense in which case a more traditional waterfall approach should be used.
Putting the right resources your project is critical to success. Although you can supplement your team with expert advice and contract resources to handle the additional project work, strong business leadership is a must, together with the right mix from your team who understand the context and needs of the company in detail. Ownership of the project has to stay within the company for the benefits to be sustainable.
At Data Markets Inc, we've developed a methodology to accelerate your progress to a fleshed out, pragmatic approach to implementing your data strategy, that can move you into the lead pack of data-centric companies. If you'd like to explore how we can help you, please email our Account Management team and we will get right back to you.