I say this straight, we have met over a hundred medium or large companies and listened to their thoughts about digitalization, and the real use of data in business. And in summary, we can state very clearly that almost every company has a great interest in transforming data into value and turnover. Practically every company’s vision, mission, or strategy has artificial intelligence, analytics, or data included.
One real problem with implementing plans is managing what to do. Almost without exception, almost all data-related work is “outsourced” to the IT organization by the top management, where it is thought from a technical point of view, without business metrics and value-generating use case definitions. This may sound obvious, but the obvious challenge is to get sufficiently large grip and responsibility for data making from a sufficiently high organizational hierarchy.
This can, of course, be due to many things such as urgency, unclear responsibilities or purely know-how. If a data strategy is a state of mind for the board and business owners, each of these should be tackled and our recommendation is to invest heavily in top management data expertise. This will act as a key competitive factor in the future because the management of data-based actions really belongs to top management and business leaders.
If the implementation of a data strategy is not measured and managed at the business level, the benefits and impacts on business will be hidden or unclear, the priorities for doing wrong and the experience of success in business will not be gained. This means that all data practices in companies needs to be business-driven (thus generating value, saving costs or increasing revenue) and then it needs to be managed by business management and never by technical people.