Understanding the critical data elements needed to solve multiple business issues is an essential first step in establishing reusable data assets. If this isn’t done, it is all too easy for an organization to end up with multiple parallel data supply chains driven by the different business functions. This leads to siloed reporting and analytics, but also inefficient processes and duplication of development effort.
Instead we encourage a focus on developing data assets that are reusable to accelerate speed and scalability for creation of multiple insights from the same data. Think of this as connecting and optimizing your data supply chain. When you have reusable data assets, you are creating an enterprise-level source of truth to underpin multiple analytics use cases.
Reusable data assets in action
Suppose a retail organization wants to reduce excess inventory by optimizing their supply chain. To tackle this business challenge, they leverage a predictive inventory management model that uses data on sales, by product type, customer segment and retail location to generate recommendations on how to reduce overstock. The model can generate new insights by combining first- and third-party data – from historical purchase records and stockout and demand data to external data like population growth metrics and business development trends for a 15-mile radius. As a result, the retailer can now better manage inventory for each specific location, but the use of this data doesn’t need to stop there. The organization can use the same dataset to feed into a model to optimize pricing strategy for their Commercial function. What could have been a dataset just used by the Supply Chain function for inventory management has become a data asset for multiple process improvements across the value chain.
This "one for all" (or "one for many") approach to data assets is the key to unlocking incremental-but-significant value from data at speed. A data strategy in tandem with digital transformation is critical here - ensuring the tooling and processes are in place to facilitate cross-functional benefit.