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Data mastery—the use of data and analytics to find business-relevant insights, not just for leaders, but for workers throughout the enterprise—can help accelerate an organization’s path to digital transformation.
What does it take to successfully “digitally transform” a business? A Deloitte study released in early 20191 suggests that an organization can become more digitally mature by developing a broad array of technology-related assets and business capabilities—“digital pivots”—that help propel an organization toward becoming a digital enterprise. The study identified seven digital pivots whose successful execution can help organizations realize benefits from digital transformation: flexible, secure infrastructure; data mastery; digitally savvy, open talent networks; ecosystem engagement; intelligent workflows; unified customer experience; and business model adaptability.
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Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of becoming more digitally mature is the increased ability to gain business value from analyzing data. As shown in the figure, higher-maturity organizations are nearly three times more likely than lower-maturity organizations to derive “significant” value from collecting and analyzing data from third parties, customers and suppliers, and internally across the organization.
This finding underscores the importance of the “data mastery” pivot, which we view as one of the foundational pivots in a digital transformation effort. Data mastery involves the use of data and analytics to find business-relevant insights that inform better decisions—not just for senior leaders, but for people throughout the enterprise. In fact, much of data mastery’s value comes from making micro insights widely available to people and processes at the edges of the enterprise—right where the organization conducts its day-to-day business activities.
Organizations pursuing digital transformation should consider prioritizing data mastery as one of the first digital pivots they pursue, as it can enhance the effectiveness of the other digital pivots as they are implemented. While the IT function is the natural orchestrator of this pivot, its effective execution requires broad involvement of the other business functions. Hence, achieving data mastery can entail an organizationwide effort, sometimes under the direction of a chief data officer, to identify and evaluate data assets and build or acquire (with IT support) the necessary platforms and competencies.