Finding the Right Data and Achieve Tangible Business Outcomes with Data Supply Chains

by Nithin Balakrishnan

How do you find the right data and use it effectively to achieve tangible business outcomes?

These are common concerns that have been challenging the data world for decades; the quest for right data and the effort needed to turn it into information and ultimately into intelligence.

Ever-changing business scenarios, requirements, attitude of data providers and consumers and last but not the least technological advancements; all these have just made the situation more difficult.

Organisations can invest substantial amounts in new technologies, but without a holistic view of the requirements and complexity of underlying data, these projects run the risk of reinventing the wheel and creating even more complex problems.

In this era of ever-increasing demand for information; it is high time we stop, think and get the basics right. Above all we need to have an organised way of managing data, like a Supply Chain.

Supply Chains empower organisations across the world to manage goods and transport them from warehouses to retail stores in a timely, orderly manner. Goods being at the right place at the right time, not early and not late, are one of the key factors determining success and the Data Management world could learn a lot from these supply chains.

Sourcing, storing and supplying data at the right time on a scalable platform are always the key objectives of businesses that thrive on data. By implementing a Data Supply Chain, an organisation will follow best practices in managing data and data flow, thereby eliminating wasted investment spent on silo solutions which are never integrated.

A Data Supply Chain is not about a new technology, it is about people, processes and technology all working towards managing data effectively.

Why a Data Supply Chain?
    • Silo data stores exist in all organisations, serving different groups of users and business systems but seldom is data from these stores integrated and analysed.
    • Organisations consume and supply data internally and externally and a data supply chain makes this data traffic seamless.
    • Businesses have a better visibility of data with the flow of data more transparent and coherent, which in turn facilitates better data governance.
    • Organisations, especially Government agencies, are all about data sharing. A data supply chain approach takes us closer to achieving data sharing and collaboration.
    • Within organisations with a history of failed data projects that blew out budgets in the past, a new initiative is at risk of being just another buzz word.
    • If there is a lack of collaborative efforts between IT and Business divisions to achieve business outcomes, it will always be difficult to build and promote a Data Supply Chain.
    • Data security, data sharing and privacy clauses within organisations can be determining factor for a Data Supply Chain. An organisation with a rigid security framework in place will find it more challenging to have internal data flows, let alone external data exchanges.
How do I start with a Data Supply Chain?
    • Before embarking on a journey to build a Data Supply Chain in your organisation, you need a reference committee to undertake the governance of the supply chain. This committee initiates stakeholder and data supplier participation.
    • Working towards building an efficient Data Supply Chain can be started by identifying the key business requirements and prioritising them. Requirements should then be mapped against internal and external data stores and data assets. The business should be engaged to prioritise the data stores and identified stores should be brought in together. It is always good to start with a minimum number of stores which are of utmost importance. Working initially with a small number of data sets will enable the organisation by standardising the Supply Chain practices.
    • Technology is yet another key factor. There are hundreds of tools out there; the goal is to acquire the right technology suite which fits the requirements, and yields maximum business benefits.
    • The Data Supply Chain is not something that is built and left to fend for itself. Each stage of the supply chain is to be measured and the key metrics govern the direction, management and maintenance of the supply chain. Organisational goals should be mapped to the supply chain periodically and key priorities revisited and mediated.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help your organisation with finding the right data to achieve your business outcomes, give us a call on (02) 9211-1522.


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