In order to turn your data vision and objectives into reality, you will need various kinds of data capabilities. Organizations often focus on technological solutions, but we advocate taking a holistic view that fully incorporates the human perspective. To this end, we have formulated a framework we call The Data-Driven Business Puzzle.
For example, from the technology perspective, you will need to consider which solutions you should migrate to the cloud, or perhaps even redesign cloud-natively, in order to reap the full benefits of cloud computing. At the same time, you will need to carefully choose the algorithms that best fit your business needs, and integrate them seamlessly into your business processes. But since your algorithms are only as good as the data you feed them, you will also need to identify and acquire the most valuable data assets for your business, and nurture them with data management and governance processes.
From the human perspective, your organization will probably need to gain access to new data and analytics skills, either through training, recruitment or outsourcing. New ways-of-working are necessary in order to leverage familiar DevOps practices, such as version control, continuous integration and automated testing, in the arena of data and analytics (this is sometimes dubbed DataOps and MLOps).
The art and science of fostering a data-driven business culture may seem enigmatic to people coming from a technical background, but there are tried-and-tested methods for alleviating uncertainty, building confidence, inspiring engagement and motivating change. Furthermore, the positioning of the data and analytics practitioners within the organizational structure needs to strike a balance between ensuring strong data domain knowledge and avoiding counterproductive silos. Finally, the leadership team should play a crucial role by painting a clear vision, ensuring sufficient resources, and setting an example of data-driven decision making.
Once you have an idea of your data vision and opportunities, we recommend conducting a holistic data capability maturity assessment across all pieces of the data-driven business puzzle to identify the most important bottlenecks in your data capabilities.