By Casey Hossa, CIO, Cardinal Innovations Healthcare
How do we achieve an organization’s data ambitions by bringing its data and analytics capabilities into alignment? Data and Analytics are often the top priority for nearly all CIOs that I speak with. What should we consider as we work toward meeting the vision of a data-enabled and information-driven enterprise?
It is no longer enough to simply consolidate demand across the enterprise for data and analytics and create an execution plan for information services as a delivery center. For an organization to meet the ambitions of being digital and data-driven, integrating this into the business requires a shift from analytics that look at delivering data services as projects to a model that develops and enables enterprise-wide data use and human analytic competencies with information tools. . The movement from reporting to dynamic access and understanding of data as a catalyst for business decisions requires a journey and a change in mindset. This shift in culture needs to be woven into the thread of everyday activities This is more than a delivery of data tools. Success requires a shift in leader use and understanding of information.
There are a series of essential elements to consider in achieving a data-driven vision. The recognition that it requires executive leadership and ownership should be considered a first step. The appointment of the CDO (Chief Data Officer) and a network of leaders, bring into focus the priority and recognition that this is an enterprise transformation. Create a vision and an understanding of the drivers for change. Leaders will require changes in day-to-day behaviors, use, and synthesis of information, while integrating information into making informed business decisions.
The CDO and team need to formalize enterprise strategic focus areas covering a wide gamut across digital business transformation and optimization with senior business executives. The identification of direct opportunities should align with the organization’s strategic mission and plan. This will vary by organization and focus on new revenue platforms, digital revenue opportunities or lines of services, better informed customer-connected experiences, enterprise efficiencies, and revenue growth/optimization.
This approach enables a clear articulation of the organizations’ priority and corresponding requirements of business leaders that will need to be part of the journey to data literacy and information-driven decisions. Establishing enterprise capabilities, ownership, responsibility, and cultural shift enables a data literate organization to drive the tools and adoption of practices required to bring information together and respond to the enterprise’s strategic demands. This shift will clarify the required data types, sources and level of quality to drive project-related work. This then aligns the information strategy with the enterprise strategy to create a journey for the enterprise to be a data and digital organization. This work must be orchestrated and deliberately driven with clarity. Today’s data and analytic tools, including AI, are built to be generic across industries. To truly garner the value, each organization needs to have clarity in the specific enterprise use cases to bring the expected and needed value.
There is also the need to recognize the value derived when the program is defined and initiated. Establish a clear set of measures to begin to collect across the business domains highlighting the value and insights this change in culture, approach, and thinking brings.
In the smallest and most nimble of organizations, this shift will require fundamental change. Developing these competencies will require a holistic view with the alignment of leadership and skills within the enterprise aligned to a program of initiatives. This is a change from the legacy world of project-based reporting, analytics, and data governance to an organization whose data and analytics are entwined with its strategy and mission and built for purpose.