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Five actions to build a data-centric organization

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A new generation of data and analytics is on the horizon – taking action now can prepare your organization for a truly data-centric future.

    1. Build your enterprise’s vision of a data-centric future

This is an end-state in which data is integrated into every major decision and process. This is not just the CIO’s responsibility – this is the job of the entire leadership team. It presents a high-level blueprint of data flows and usages. It is an imperative for how data and analytics will support the strategic vision of the firm. It captures the size of the prize. It serves as your business case.

  1. Build from the use cases

With the data-centric vision as the goal, and aligning to your corporate strategy, explore use cases that create value, while moving you toward data centricity. Put it on a sprint timeline and be prepared to scale fast. Establish an embedded and empowered team that blends business and IT skills. Give the team the mission, leadership, and support it will need to disrupt and transform.

  1. Map the gap – architect and build the technology foundation

Look for the gaps in your technology based on what is needed to enable your use cases. Assess your stack today – the infrastructure, cloud, AI, data and analytics – and where each of those components need to be in the future.

While today's goal is to democratize data value within your company; tomorrow's goal is to monetize data within the ecosystem. If we do not lay the foundations for this now, we will be reactive rather than proactive tomorrow. Understand the capabilities needed to deliver on strategic objectives in the near and long term, and how they will be prioritized and deployed to achieve the strategic vision. Be aware that shortfalls will be driven by the sheer volume of data, integration requirements, and the early stage of critical investments such as AI or ML.

  1. Obsess on the outcomes – especially the customer

You will not have the resources or talent to address all facets of data centricity. If you have to concentrate resources on one area, make it the customer. Build data centricity into your customer relationships, and that will provide the strong foundation to build from there. Additionally, obsess over the outcomes being driven from your data and adjust your strategy and actions accordingly.

  1. Put humans at the center

A clear finding in our research is that those organizations that put the human element squarely in the center of transformation are those who succeed. In data centricity, this is highlighted in the need for leadership, the spread of data literacy, and the digital mobilization of the broader workforce. Combined with the right technology strategy, the right talent strategy is the key to the new generation of data centricity.

We are entering a new era of data centricity – where every decision, process and interface will be driven by data. This transformation is being built on a new technology infrastructure of cloud, AI, Internet of Things and other technologies that build a pervasive data fabric across the enterprise. While technology is at the core of this transformation, humans are at its center – a more empowered workforce that uses and advances the data centricity of the enterprise.