Paint the bus as you go: Learning to navigate the ever-changing landscape of data

21 Sep 2020

How do you actually go about embracing the future of data-driven decision making? The answer might surprise you: there is no cut-and-dry solution which applies to every organization. And that’s the beauty of it: the fact that there is no “one way” to do this, means that you are not forced to follow a specific rulebook which might be ill-suited to your specific needs.

Maybe you haven’t started gathering the data you will need yet. Maybe you are sitting on a huge stockpile of information, with no clue what to do with it. No matter what the case is, you can pick and choose from several different options, in order to create a strategy which suits your needs. 

And once you get started, your journey is very likely to be unique — from your specific approach to the challenges you face and the rewards you will reap.  

“Nowadays we can’t say exactly what it will look like around the corner, all we know that it is happening now and that it is probably moving in this direction” as Jan AlterstenPresident B2C Finance & Nordic Collection at Arvato Financial Solutions says about working with data.

“So what we need to manage is to create a vision, a clear goal, but also be open to the fact that we paint the bus as we go. We don’t know exactly what the road will look like so we can’t have this clear planned out path on how to get there.”

Jan Altersten


How to make data-driven decision making

Out of the respondents in a survey conducted by Kairos Future, several report that they apply more than one organizational model to drive transformation towards more data-driven decision making. Some use a concentrated task force or center of excellence (either as part of the IT organization or not), others informal, virtual teams with members across the organization.  

The same goes for the competence mechanisms applied to drive the data journey. In order to get the necessary competence, some have chosen to partner with external companies, such as specialized startups or suppliers. Others have hired consultants, or retrained existing employees. And yet again, several of the respondents use more than one of the available options. 


Whats your way forward?

The variety of responses clearly illustrate the fact that you have to find your own way forward. On your quest to reach data maturity, you are in a sense exploring foreign lands, where no one has set foot before. And as you go along, you might need to change directions one or more times. That doesn’t necessarily mean your approach has been wrong — it’s simply part of the journey. 

Do you want to deep dive into the topic of data-driven journey
To help you on your way, we’ve published the report “Data-driven masterclass: 10 lessons from the European leaders in digitalization”. These lessons are based on an extensive survey commissioned by Dun & Bradstreet and conducted by Kairos Future, consisting of in-depth interviews with senior leaders in IT, data, marketing and business development functions in Europe. 

Download the report here