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How Can Organizations lead with Data Abundance?

Shamanth Shankar

By Shamanth Shankar

On March 20, 2017

Digitization offers IT teams unprecedented opportunities to create value by becoming digital change agents for the enterprise, but the way most IT teams operate cannot support this ambition. As technology becomes central to company strategy and growth, IT teams face faster business change and rising volatility in demand, and they must rethink how they respond to technology spending outside of IT.

While the concept of data-centric organizations is not new, the adoption of a data-centric mindset and technologies which aid companies to manipulate big data is a strategic shift that has only started to take shape in the recent years.

It is imperative for businesses to harvest data from every possible source and, long-term, to strive to build efficient data-centric organizations if they wish to innovate and stay ahead of the curve.

So, how can you create a Data-driven Culture?

  1. Data Strategy over Ownership
image credit: @unsplash @rayhennessy

It is rare to find a digitization strategy that doesn’t include big data, advanced analytics, and new-in-kind products and services underpinned by data. However, most organizations lack an enterprise-wide data strategy, and others report problems with burdensome data ownership and stewardship. Rather than worrying too much about who owns what, a better way to operate is to take a business-centric approach, promoting specific business opportunities to use data and analytics and aligning the necessary resources required to exploit these opportunities.

One key step for Chief Data Officers would be to design and implement (and, thereby, encourage) within the organization specific channels of capturing data related to cultural changes in customer behavior and to find a way to exploit the information available in our abundant digital world for a competitive advantage.

For example, companies can adopt a business model that is centered on gathering consumer choice or customer experiences. At every step of the purchasing lifecycle, they can integrate data collection “checkpoints” like self-service portals, loyalty and reward schemes. Treating data like a valuable asset and facilitating cooperation between different business departments, from Marketing through Sales to own and collaborate around data to drive a coherent strategy and operations.

  1. Data-Centric Philosophy

To meet expectations for responsiveness, output, and “always-on” products, IT teams are integrating delivery, engineering, and support so that software releases occur as soon as new functionality is ready. CIOs are doing this by combining iterative software development methods with DevOps and aligning the resulting teams to the product lines described above so each product line can deliver functionality at its own pace.

Car Dashboard
image credit: @unsplash @michaelheld

Recently, the MIT Technology Review analyzed the case of Progressive, an insurance company which perfected the art of gathering, integrating and securing business-critical data. Their data-gathering device Snapshot can be plugged under a car’s dashboard and from there it will capture driving-related data. Using machine learning, Progressive analyses the information and generates personalized insurance plans based on the customer’s driving patterns and history.

Adopting a Data-Centric philosophy will help businesses to stand out from the crowd and close the rift between the abundance of data and the scarcity of insights.

Read more about Why Digitization Requires A New IT Operating Model at: