Companies’ data programs typically fall into one of four levels of maturity.
Immature. The company does not have central reporting. Each department creates one-off reports through its own operational systems and shadow IT groups. Excel and Access are the tools of choice; although individual departments may have their own data marts, there is no concept of enterprise data.
Evolving. The company has a collection of data marts or even an enterprise data repository that creates operational-level reporting. It also has a number of data sources and reporting tools that often compete with one another. The available analytics and reporting are primarily tactical; lacking adequate performance metrics, the company is unable to make truly data-driven decisions. Because of its lack of governance and a siloed focus on results, it struggles to become strategic.
Maturing. The company has a central data repository and a common set of reporting and analytical tools, with universally agreed-on definitions of the data. Its tools can be used for some analysis and forecasting, but are not fully trusted to help set the company’s strategic direction. Selected business decisions are enabled by the data, but data is not an integrated part of the overall strategy.
Differentiating. The company views its capability to make strategic decisions enabled by full business intelligence as a differentiator. It is able to bring together data from different parts of the company to answer analytical finance, planning, and marketing questions, and to set forward-looking direction for the business. Information strategy and analytics are central to the strategic decisions the company makes.
- Tom Casey is a partner with Booz & Company’s digital business and technology practice, and is based in Chicago. He is a leader in the firm’s information management practice, and specializes in content & data management for clients in the consumer, media and technology industries.
- Kumar Krishnamurthy is a partner with Booz & Company’s digital business and technology practice, and is based in Chicago. He focuses on helping clients with IT agenda setting, delivery model design, program structuring, and organizational effectiveness efforts.
- Boris Abezgauz is a senior associate with Booz & Company’s digital business and technology, and is based in Chicago. He specializes in embedding data and analytics into operational processes, and focuses on the automotive and consumer products industries.
- Also contributing to this article were Booz & Company principal Yuri Goryunov and partner Ramesh Nair.