#93 Data collection on business model level
Many companies consider data collection and internal data needs very often through processes or IT systems. However, the comprehensive digitalisation of organizations applies to the entire business model, so data is starting to accumulate for the entire business model. In many cases, it is much easier to talk to company management about collecting data, for example, through the 360 data idea of a business model, than through individual systems or complex technical solutions. When management has a sufficient understanding of what data is in one element of the business model and what value it can generate elsewhere, it is much longer that technical personnel can decompose it at the database and system level as well as into technical solutions.
Assuming that data needs are described through Business Model Canvas and its individual elements, it is possible to assess how different data relate to other important elements of the business and their data. In principle, company management easily understands which systems are used in which element of the business model, what value the system generates and where else the data generated by the system must be able to be utilized. Using Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas (image source: strategyzer.com) as an example, a few real scenarious can be imagined.
For example, in an e-commerce business, if you implement information about purchase history, customer invoices or orders, product inventory balances, dynamic pricing data, and recommendations from other customers in the e-commerce interface, then how many different sources and business model elements do you need in one place between? This simple example alone proves that if business management at this level is able to describe what information is needed and where, even directly using the Business Model Canvas, then data making is starting to become more business-driven.
Let's take a more complex example. It is imagined that, for example, availability information on the activities of key partners must be made available to the company's project management. For example, in the construction industry, data on the personnel of subcontractors, work permit matters, certifications and other information must be made available to designers and project planning systems automatically. Perceiving this too on top of Business Model Canvas is successful when thinking about which element needs what data and from whom it should be obtained. It is then up to the technical staff to break down the requirement to the technical level and ensure that the technical solution is available.
The power of this kind of thinking or action is not just to describe or solve more complex data needs, but more to get people at different organizational levels to discuss and model data needs in a common language, and visualization usually explains more than a ten-page PDF document or Powerpoint presentation. Although the examples I have given you may seem very simple or easy to put into practice, but believe me when I say it. Hunger grows when you eat, and after these first easy cases, you really need a common language in which a technical person and a business person can find a common pattern. The most expensive implementation is the one that has to be done several times over and over again.