Awakening the transformative power of data

Being data-driven has become an essential condition for any organization to thrive in a more complex and fast changing business ecosystem.

Organizations falling behind in this transformation see their data-driven competitors seize market share and moving into their customer base.

Deriving value from the investment needed to become data-driven is a challenge, for organizations locked in legacy data environments, business processes, skill sets, and change resistant cultures, as they struggle to enable their data capabilities.

Becoming a data-driven organization and building a data culture is a difficult and long process.

Delivering business value and removing corporate culture friction are the main challenges and the chosen approach to this process, will determine the chances for success.

A pragmatic and focused approach is decisive.

Focus on clearly identified high-impact business problems or business cases. Looking into the most common business drivers for data initiatives, such as to support risk management and regulatory reporting, to tackle mergers, and acquisitions, to gain a competitive edge, to allow more educated and real-time decision making, to save or reduce costs, or to assist in up-sales and cross-sales, to name a few, it’s easy to identify where there is a critical business need.

Tackling these specific problems allows to quickly demonstrate value through “quick wins”.

These success stories, that start with a small, targeted initiative, where the impact and value of data can be clearly identified and working with a business stakeholder that can passionately and effectively articulate the impacts of data in their business processes build credibility and act as a steppingstone to identify additional high-impact business cases to build business momentum.

Investing in data capabilities and technology without clearly defined business purpose and objectives, is a step towards failure. Data’s purpose is to create business value, so any data strategy must be oriented towards the organization’s strategic priorities and key business objectives.

Only when data is managed as a proper business asset, managed from capture and production through its consumption and utilization, can its true potential to generate business value be activated.

This requires a critical shift of mindset, the driver for this transformation can’t be IT, as traditionally is. All the program and initiatives must be driven and oriented by the business units. Business must be on the driver sit.

Data-driven business transformation is not an IT function, it is a business function, it is the business who better knows what their problems and objectives are. The role of IT in this process is to find the right technology and support the business units in this journey.

Becoming a data-driven organization is a long-term process that requires persistence and determination. Every data initiative can be a step in the right direction, but the focus must be on the business purpose, not in data itself.

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