Digital Power launches new data strategy offering

15 August 2023 5 min. read

Digital Power has launched a new data strategy proposition to help its clients define and realise their goals for datadriven working. “Few organisations know how to convert the insights from their data into results. What they lack is a good data strategy,” says Charlotte Vonkeman, who is responsible for the new proposition.

In her more than six years at Digital Power, Vonkeman found one recurring theme among clients. All too often, organisations developed data-harvesting activities, and brought in reams of the raw material, but were ineffective in leveraging data optimally in order to contribute to their goals.

“For example, organisations want a customer data platform because everyone has one, or put way too much information in a dashboard so that the user cannot see the wood for the trees,” she explains.

Digital Power launches new data strategy offering

For the last decade, digital soothsayers have lived by the maxim “data is the new gold” – but that underestimates how easily it can be utilised as a commodity. In fact, data may be closer to gold ore, according to Vonkeman. Amid the continued gold rush, few organisations seem capable of turning it into pure gold for now – but Digital Power’s new offering might be about to change all that.

In many cases, such organisations lack a holistic view, says Vonkeman, adding that the scramble not to miss out means “implementing tools, or creating new dashboards, are the kind of solutions companies jump to” – but that more often, it is simply “organisational factors which are decisive for the success of data-driven working.

This is why having a data strategy is so important, she says. “You derive a data strategy from the organisational strategy, so that it provides a clear plan with a roadmap for how data is used to achieve the organisational goals. “Your data strategy is the guideline for getting data from the current to the desired situation, within a certain time. In addition, it contains the basic principles and strategic principles for collecting, storing, processing and using data within the organisation.”

In spite of this importance, Vonkeman states that most organisations still do not have an explicit data strategy. Describing it as “a fairly new phenomenon”, she clarifies that in practice, such a strategy involves making a link between organisational goals and data ambitions – an area where there is “often a mismatch”, resulting in “the wrong data products being developed, or used”.

Delivering on the promise of data

Without sufficient strategy, companies risk not realising the true potential of the data they have harvested. Fortunately, Vonkeman sees increasing interest in data strategy, with more and more organisations “thinking about exactly what they want with their data and how they can approach it in a structured way.”

Working in collaboration with Erik Van der Kooij – Digital Power’s commercial manager – the data strategy team supports organisations in drawing up and implementing a data strategy. Speaking on his role in the new initiative, Van der Kooij explains that the consulting firm is perfectly positioned for the new offering.

“Of course, we have been operating within the data domain for years,” notes Van der Kooij. “From data engineering, data analytics and data science to research, customer experience and technical web analytics. And in all our projects we ensure that the solution serves the organisational goals.”

In his work with clients, he notes that organisations are now approaching the subject of data more holistically than before. And this is something which Digital Power is “increasingly being asked to support”, with it coming in for keen demand on strategic data projects. By adding the data strategy service to the firm’s portfolio, Van der Kooij adds that “we can take care of the entire advisory process, from devising the strategy up to and including implementation.”

Data strategy in four steps

At the heart of Digital Power’s new proposition is its own data strategy model, which provides a structured framework to analyse the ambitions, the current situation, the desired situation and the necessary steps to get there. The process can be roughly divided into four steps, all beginning with the goals and key performance indicators of the organisation.

“You translate these into appropriate data ambitions: the ways in which data should contribute to the organisational goals,” Vonkeman explains. The second step is to map out the current situation regarding data use. In doing so, organisations can take a broader view than just data and tools. For example, Vonkeman points to processes surrounding data collection and use.

“Is the exchange and sharing of data between departments well organised, or is the organisational structure in the way? Is there sufficient and the right knowledge available among all employees to deal with data at all levels?”

Third on the list, firms need to determine what the ideal situation regarding data use should look like and what steps need to be taken to achieve the data ambitions. In doing so, organisations can provide insight into which departments those ambitions impact. When this is established, organisations will have a firm idea of “what you need to change to achieve your goals.”

That brings Vonkeman to the fourth step – drawing up and implementing a data strategy. That is easier said than done, though. “This phase brings its own challenges,” she cautions. “Think about creating support. In this context, it is good to start with the department or team that is furthest along and feels the most urgency. If you see that this works, you can roll it out for multiple departments.”

Digital Power positions itself as an end-to-end player. This includes ensuring that its clients stay tuned to the latest developments and the constantly evolving business environment. “A data strategy is not a static thing that is ‘finished’ at a given moment. It has to be a continuous cycle from formulation, to implementation, to evaluation, to optimisation. You regularly need to check whether your ambitions still match what you are doing.”

Of course, that does not mean that organisations are stuck with Digital Power forever, says Vonkeman with a laugh. While the firm is always “happy to help them on their way,” the ultimate ambition is for clients to learn how to adapt their own data strategy as needed. But, “if they need our help again, we will of course be there.”