Case Studies

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Data strategy, cataloguing and governance in digital media publishing
The challenge

The business had initiated a ‘data flywheel’ programme, to build layers of data capability for incrementally increasing data-driven benefits and positioning data as a high-value strategic asset. Whilst this vision was strong, the business recognised that success required additional skills and flexible resources.

Our solution

We first delivered a 4dDX data strategy workshop for the leadership team, which aligned everyone’s thinking on priorities and next steps. That was followed by our data cataloguing and data governance accelerators, which rapidly uncovered the data flows in the business, and established a data governance framework. Data use cases were defined and documented, clarifying precisely how the business would generate new value from data, and use data in ways that achieved business goals.

The results

Within just three months, the prototype data catalogue made it plain to see where changes in data flows were necessary, and what those changes needed to be. Also within that time, a new cross-functional group of ‘Data Champions’ was formed, to serve as Data Stewards and advocates for data-driven change. As the data catalogue and data governance framework were deployed, we transferred skills and knowledge to various team members, so that they were able to self-sufficiently continue using and developing the business’s new data capabilities.

Data strategy, cataloguing and governance in construction regulation and insurance
The challenge

As a leading provider of buildings insurance, the business possessed large volumes of valuable data. But whilst significant resources were being consistently deployed to manage those data, the business wished to fully convert data into business benefits. The leadership team recognised that the business was more ‘data-busy’ than ‘data-driven’ and could more effectively position data as a high-value strategic asset.

Our solution

We provided seasoned data leadership expertise by supplying a part-time Interim Head of Data. From that leadership role, we devised the business’s first data strategy and established a new data team. Once agreed, the new data strategy was deployed through a range of initiatives that established and developed core capabilities in data value, compliance, governance and operations.

The results

Through close collaboration with business leaders, the new data strategy was agreed within two months. Our attention to ‘real-world’ details and the practicality of our accelerators, enabled rapid implementation of beneficial changes including data governance, streamlined data operations and new data insights all occurring within 12 months. We led the creation of a new data catalogue and glossary to round up and clarify over 3,000 data attributes, so they could be integrated into the business’s data warehouse. We set new data quality standards to drive remediation of data quality issues, and just 18 months after adopting the new data strategy, the business’s increased control over its data yielded new commercial data products creating additional sources of revenue, and uncovered in excess of £5M of potential claims savings.

Clarks Shoes
Data cataloguing in global fashion manufacturing and retail
The challenge

The business was attempting to align its data with modern digital initiatives, such as omnichannel fulfilment and digital merchandising. Over decades, the business’s data landscape had evolved into a complex array of numerous data flows and technologies. Data operations were siloed, which meant data was a risk to the business’s digital ambitions, when it should have been an essential asset.

Our solution

We built the business’s first data catalogue, enabling Clarks to take control of its data by revealing how data flows through the business, and what changes were necessary to support digital transformation. We combined hidden knowledge from the business’s key data people with analysis of the business’s data infrastructure, to compile a single comprehensive and highly-available view of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and data flows and lineages.

The results

Within four weeks, the renewed data clarity untangled data blockers in digital projects, meaning that data could finally fuel digital initiatives, rather than prevent them. Crucially, people spoke of having an improved understanding of how data move through and around the business, which lowered data complexities and risks, and reduced data operations costs. Longer-term, the data catalogue informed a data remediation plan which improved the quality of data assets to further support the business’s digital fulfilment and merchandising ambitions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are your solutions better than other options?

We’re faster, less expensive and more effective at transforming data into a high-value business asset. See our Solutions here!

You say you are faster. How is that possible? Are you cutting corners?

Our speed is enabled by the templates, frameworks and documents in our accelerators. We don’t cut corners – on the contrary we use the time saved and our experience to cover more angles than would otherwise be possible.

You say you are less expensive. Where does the cost reduction come from?

Our accelerators come pre-populated with essential templates and documentation, so you don’t have to pay to reinvent wheels. We’ve already created the foundations, so all you pay for is the tailoring and deployment. See our pricing here.

You say you are more effective. Why is that?

Because we focus solely on purely practical methods and bring extensive experience. No unnecessary complexity, and no guesswork. We know what works, and we’ve got very good at it over multiple deployments.

Do we need to acquire new technology to use your solutions?

Nope! Our obsession with speed, cost-effectiveness and simplicity means we show you how to level-up your data strengths by using the tools your business already has.

Will your solutions work with the technologies our business uses?

Yes, absolutely. The data capabilities we build for you are completely platform agnostic. Whatever technologies your business uses, we can help you to make better use of the data they contain.

I don't want a heavily templated approach. How do I know your solutions will fit our situation and needs?

Through many years of experience, we’ve pinpointed what’s common and therefore can (and should) be templated, and what’s unique to each different business. The templates in our accelerators only cover the fundamental aspects which you don’t want to be paying to reinvent. We work closely with every customer to hone our accelerators to suit each specific scenario. Think of it as having an off-the-peg suit adjusted – it’s much quicker and cheaper than a fully bespoke tailoring, but it still fits you perfectly!

I don't want to waste time or money. How can I be sure your solutions will work?

Take a look at our case studies and testimonials, which should reassure you that you’ll be in good hands. However, if you’d prefer to try us out before fully committing to a project, we’re happy to start small. Contact us to talk about ways we can prove our value on an initial trial engagement.

How quickly will I see results and benefits?

That depends on the scope and complexity of your needs and objectives. But as a general rule of thumb, we aim to deliver results within 3 months, with some milestones landing before that. For example, we typically install our data governance framework within just one week!

If this works for us, will we need to continue using your services to extend our use of your solutions?

No. From the start, we focus on endowing your people with the knowledge and skills to self-sufficiently operate the data capabilities we build for you. Of course, we’ll support you for as long as you feel it’s necessary.

What do you need from us?

One of the most important dependencies of our work, is an enthusiastic commitment from your people to engage in the process. After all, until AI fully takes over (let’s hope in a fully collaborative and non-apocalyptic way!) it’s still people who put the rubber on the road when it comes to data value. We’ll bring all the skills and experience you need, but we need you to work with us to get results.

How soon can you start?

Our typical lead time on new projects is about a month, sometimes less. We just need that time to brief our team and agree plans with you. Contact us here today!