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Is "Data Readiness" making your organisation a Business Leader – or a Business Laggard?

A recent IDC report indicates that organisations with higher “Data Readiness” produce 90% better business performance metrics than those with lower scores.

We all suspect that – but with so much data and so many competing data solutions, organisations can have their hands full just collecting, storing and managing the data.

As Cloud Data Management Platforms become more prominent and accessible to all organisations big or small, suddenly there is more time to dedicate to the actual data and the value it can bring to the business. 

What do "Data Readiness" Leaders do?


"Data Ready" organisations of hugely different types and sizes - operating in different sectors and geographies - are taking data-enabled businesses to the next level. It is illusory to suggest that data technologies by themselves can work such wonders. Wiser "Data Readiness" Leaders realise that technology is just a part of the formula for data-driven change, and they must work with a range of levers to create sustainable business impact.

People-related factors, whether organisational (e.g., data-driven decision making and collaboration) or individual (e.g., data skills) are the most important in affecting performance metrics. Organisations that take holistic approached to building data-driven organisations, harness data literacy and data skills among employees for maximum enterprise business impact.

Process-related factors are also prioritised to support the management, analysis and consumption of data in the most "Data Ready" organizations.

The report also found that organisations need to work on the 2 least performing factors:

  • data governance and
  • data technology
to encourage and sustain data driven change. Organisations' inherent complexity requires a tailored (rather than a one-size fits all) approach to drive data readiness in differing organisations.

Larger organic Doesations tend to have higher "Data Readiness Index" scores and are mainly differentiated by the process and people-related factors (especially skills).

What is "Data Readiness" and Why Does it Matter?


All organisations, trying to harness data for sustainable business impact, need to understand their current data readiness and apply the change levers appropriate for continuous improvement. People approach data-related challenges very differently, but we can identify a set of common "Data Readiness" Dimensions and Developmental Bands.

"Data Readiness" Dimensions

  1. People (Organisation) - Whether and how often employees and leaders collaborate and make decisions objectively based on data.
  2. People (Skills) - Whether and how well employees possess the necessary skills to analyse data and interpret the results.
  3. Process - Whether and how well business processes are established to facilitate data management and data consumption.

  4. Technology - Whether and how extensively technological tools are employed to ensure effective data architecture, data analysis and agile deployment.

  5. Governance - Whether and how comprehensively data and content governance are in place to ensure trust of data.

"Data Readiness" Developmental Bands

For each of the "Data Readiness" Dimensions organisations can be in the one of the following "Data Readiness" Developmental Bands.
  • Band 1 (Leading)
  • Band 2 (Developing)
  • Band 3 (Lagging)


Key Findings regarding the "Data Readiness Index"


Organisations with good data readiness scores have higher business performance metrics business performance metrics when compared to organisations with lower data readiness scores.

More precisely, organisations in the leading band of DRI perform consistently better than those in lower bands. They experience improved outcomes across all eight types of business performance KPIs WHAT ARE THESE 8 TYPES OF BUSINESS PERFORMANCE? as compared with those in lower bands. The improvement factors range from 1.2x to 2.5x, with an average of 1.9x (i.e., a +90% improvement).

Leading organisations are particularly adept at:

  • new revenue generation
  • operational efficiency and
  • new product introduction and innovation.
The amplification effect from laggards to leading DRI bands is greater for "operational efficiency" and "new revenue generation" than the other KPI categories, such as profit margin.
This is probably because of the myriad potential intervening factors that may come into play in composite KPIs such as profit margins.

This analysis clearly shows the business value of data readiness.

What is your "Data Readiness" score?

Developing the plan to achieve high levels of "Data Readiness" is the same as any strategic planning exercise:

  1. Where are we now?
  2. Where do we want to be?
  3. How will we get there?

Here at Fusion Professionals we’ve assisted dozens of organisations to increase "Data Readiness" and get business value out of data. We have developed our very simple Data Readiness Maturity Assessment tool  – which we’ve successfully used in partnership with organisations such as nbn - to provide guidance on the "Data Readiness - Where are we now?" question.

How do you become a "Data Readiness" Leader (not Laggard?)


In order to become Data Readiness Leaders, organisations should use data and analytics to determine how to best invest limited resources (time, budget, etc.) into "Data Readiness". If the whole organisation should be data-driven, IT should be a champion of using data to drive decision and "Eating your own dog food."

Deciding what "Data Readiness" dimensions to invest in and in what order to achieve maximum results with limited resources could be complex task. 

For a limited time, we’re offering a free high-level assessment to understand where your organisation is in terms of the "Data Readiness" (using data of course) and to identify the top 3 things you should do to improve your "Data Readiness"."

To participate, just click here, and answer one simple question: What you believe to be your organisation's current level of "Data Readiness" on the 1-5 scale? We’ll be in touch directly to discuss your "Data Readiness" self-assessment, get to know more about your data readiness (across 5 dimensions) and to provide our free advice on your go forward "Data Readiness" strategy.

Next article

In our next article, we’ll explore key steps to “getting the value from data" – to help you understand what your data is really worth and whether or not your data is costing or making you money.