Where are you on your data evolution journey?

Where are you on your data evolution journey

Where are you on your data evolution journey, that is the question!

Taking the evolutionary leap up the Data Maturity curve is one that instils fear and dread in most Executives.  Perhaps more concerning is that most organisations think they are more mature than they actually are.

Gartner has a great perspective on describing how mature organisations are when it comes to data analytics and Business Intelligence.  Their chart shows the evolution of firms that are unaware of BI to those that are transforming their industry.

source: https://www.gartner.com/doc/3136418/itscore-overview-bi-analytics

How mature are you?

Which one are you in this list:  A.  If you’re using servers and produce a monthly report pack, you are in Level 2 B.  Have a data lake, with data engineers then Level 3 C.  Have a data platform with a data analytics layer then step into Level 4 or maybe Level 5 D.  If you use excel and print PDFs then I’m afraid you’ll have to go to Level 1.  That’s simply not good enough. 

Why should you evolve?

If you don’t evolve, you won’t be able to compete.  It’s that simple!  Don’t be the BlockBuster video of your industry.  If you’re not data driven in the next 18 months, it will be too late.  Act now! 

How do you evolve?

Get strategic.  It has to be driven from the top and integrated into the overall strategy.  Data isn’t an outcome or necessity of business.  It’s your DNA.  It’s not a case of employing a whole bunch of data scientists and hoping for the best.  That’s failed too many times.  Becoming data driven is a strategic directive and needs to be truly aligned with your organisation’s strategy.  If you’re still thinking of data analytics as an IT project, then reconsider, otherwise, you’ll be left behind.  The C suite needs to drive the kind of change needed to get the evolution to happen. 

Leverage your data for good

Data is an intrinsic part of any organisation.  It always has been!  What sets the data driven organisations apart from the pack is that they have embraced technology to a far greater degree.  Data combined with competence and context creates information which in turn provides the backbone of knowledge.  Speed of business is determined by how quickly your staff can access the data they need.  The quicker competent staff can access the data they need, the quicker they can act.  Start small and don’t try and boil the ocean.  Once you get started, you’ll never look back. 

The problem of standing still  

Data can exist in many mediums from paper to petabytes, but also through speech, stored in the heads of subject matter experts.  In pre-computer days, data access mainly revolved around an elaborate ISO9001 accredited filing system with arch lever folders and an abundance of dividers.  Accessing data was slow and ad-hoc.  The early computer years gave us networked filing systems with multi-tiered folder structures to keep everything and anything.  It was an improvement on the paper-based system but still not great.  Recall all the benefits we were going to get by going paperless.  That didn’t really happen, did it?  Data driven firms make data accessible to the organisation in an organised, secure and governed framework; supported by appropriate technology.  The only difference between you and them is the way they treat their data.

Challenge the way you see data

Get serious about data and what it means to your organisation.  Single sources of truth and live dashboards are terms that need to replace data lakes and reporting.