Published on
June 9, 2023
min read

Winning with data: a strategic imperative

Winning with data: a strategic imperative
Luc Burgelman
Luc Burgelman
Executive Partner

Winning with data: a strategic imperative

For many businesses, a data-driven approach is quickly becoming a strategic imperative that can make or break a company’s ability to retain and attract customers, create new services, and remain competitive.

To be transformational, data insights must be business critical across the entire organization. They need to be accessible, interpretable and actionable at the point of need, embodied in the company culture and supported by technology that makes data easily available. Data-driven enterprises carry this in their DNA and use it as a leading principle for everything they do.

Despite the widespread acceptance of the growing role of data in an organization’s strategic agenda, the systematic embedding of data-generated insights and actions in company processes still has a long way to go.

Common reasons cited are siloed data, poor data reliability, a lack of analytical talent, incompatible legacy systems and the fact that different types of data may exist in many formats across the multiple parts of an organization. In many cases, initial investments in platforms haven’t solved the problem, as these initiatives often start without a specific use case in mind. In other cases, data initiatives have been limited to individual units, rather than focused on the core of the organization.

Data must be coupled with business priorities

The power of data lies in how its serves the business purposes. Companies must clearly define their use cases, mapping them to the broader agenda. Those that succeed typically ensure that data-driven decisions are embedded in their business strategies and innovation plans. It is critical to view data as an asset with a clear link to business impact. Leadership and executive sponsorship of data strategy programs is paramount.

Culture is critical - But not easy to get right

Becoming a data-driven organization depends on getting everyone on board, adapting to new ways of thinking and working based on what the data is telling you.

Cultural change is often a critical element in making an organization more data driven, but it is one the most challenging to get right. Shifting stakeholders’ thinking away from intuition-based toward evidence-based decision making cannot just be achieved with change management or education; it needs to become part of the way teams think and act. Identifying and onboarding the talent that can drive data-led innovation is another key priority.

Data generated insights must impact all organizational levels

For data to translate into business impact, it must first be transformed into insights that inform decision making.

To maximize its impact, data should not be restricted to the management layer. Rather, the goal should be to get the right data insights directed to the point of need. To truly embed data into mainstream thinking and behavior, organizations need to look at how they can build data insights into business processes by default.

Operational need drives tech investment

Technology need to be carefully selected in order to provide businesses with the ability to exploit data strategically and operationally — enabling them to both free data from silos and integrate it with other data sources to derive actionable insights. Success depends on being able to align technological innovations with strategic priorities, rather than simply creating data-processing capabilities and making data easily usable by applying technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Succeed from the start, flip your approach

It’s clear that “winning with data” isn’t simply about stockpiling data and investing in state-of-the-art analytics capabilities. Each organization’s data-driven journey needs to be shaped by its business strategy.

Ariane Berckmoes, Federal Insurance

"Madison.Partners aligned our business objectives & IT foundations and succeeded in getting a company-wide handshake on the digital strategy, roles & responsibilities."

Ariane Berckmoes, Federal Insurance
Ijlal Syed, Galapagos

"Madison.Partners seamlessly bridged the gap between our data & analytics capabilities and people/processes."

Ijlal Syed, Galapagos
International Business Analytics Lead
Cindy Van Moorleghem, IVC Group

"Madison.Partners expertly established our program management approach, resulting in a transparent roadmap."

Cindy Van Moorleghem, IVC Group
Brand & Marketing Director
June 9, 2023

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