Our study “One data strategy to rule them all” provides in-depth analysis of the key factors that drive any successful data strategy. Our findings show that there are three data strategy archetypes. Identifying a company’s archetype allows to draw specific conclusions and in a next step to capitalise on it.
Data & Analytics (D&A) has tremendously gained in importance in recent years. This development has led industry leaders across all regions and businesses to put significant resources into the development of D&A strategies. However, the increasing investments in data initiatives have not necessarily led to better results.
Data management framework
Assuming an outside-in perspective and conducting extensive research enabled us to identify the five key factors that drive any data strategy – ranging from a company’s D&A organisation and governance to platform technology and operating model. Furthermore, we characterised three data strategy archetypes of companies. Based on many practical use cases, this allows us to draw specific conclusions and next steps for each type of company to help them implement an individual data strategy they can capitalise on.
In essence: If a company wants to avoid a fractured infrastructure landscape and opportunistic D&A innovation vehicles, it should start with implementing a comprehensive enterprise data strategy and framework.
A comparative perspective on data strategies
The definition of a company’s data strategy archetypes turns the most important data issues into tangible problems that can be addressed in an efficient and compliant manner.
The categorisation into three data strategy archetypes is based on the insight that in general, companies tend to follow a three-step evolution. The three archetypes reflect the stage of the D&A journey and the maturity level a company has reached. Starting with uncoordinated D&A activities, opportunistic data governance as well as scattered teams and use cases, organisations then move towards centralisation with standardised processes and decision-making – thereby curtailing the flexibility of their business units. The most mature data strategy archetype is an evolution back to the business units and towards standardised data governance and operating models, with each business unit managing its own use cases.
If a company is at the beginning of its data journey, it is most important to define a single, unified vision of where the organisation’s data journey should lead. This is more a political issue than a content-related one, and it is a topic that needs to be addressed from the top down. D&A activities should also focus on pulling forces together and gaining critical mass. Therefore, they must be consolidated and centralised. If a company has already achieved a high level of data maturity, it can refine its processes and business models and move from «product» to «service». Based on its D&A capabilities it can create unique customer experience journeys, increase the loyalty of customers and business partners as well as actively build and expand its own data and strategy ecosystems.
Our study “One data strategy to rule them all” shows in detail and based on many practical use cases how to implement a data strategy framework and how to reach the next level of data maturity. It also asks crucial checklist questions related to any data strategy and serves as both an analysis and a practical guide for a company’s own data strategy. We define the five key factors that drive any data strategy and identify three data strategy archetypes of companies. Based on this categorisation we can draw specific conclusions and directions for action for each type of company to help define, develop, implement, and improve the individual data strategies and therefore to capitalise on data in an efficient and compliant manner.