Written by xScion
on December 05, 2017


You want to become a Data Company…but how do you do it? Like any enterprise-level change, becoming a Data Company requires a sustained, organization-wide commitment to transformation. At xScion, our experts developed the Agile Data Maturity Model (ADMM) after seeing multiple examples where executives thought they were leading Data Companies, but when in reality, their organizations were far from operating as one.


How Does a Data Company Operate?

After discussions both internally and with clients across multiple industries, it came down to 3 key factors:

A Data Company:

  1. Relentlessly measures and monitors the pulse of the business and are doing so in a continuous and often automated manner
  2. Recognizes data as its core competency and leverages it to generate value for stakeholders
  3. Makes data available to every person when they need it, thus enabling better decisions 


How Do You Achieve This Level of Operation?

Knowing the end state companies were seeking to achieve, our experts built a roadmap for the journey itself. We developed the ADMM as an implementable, scalable plan for advancing companies from their current operating state to becoming a Data Company.

Data must be recognized as an operating function for a company, in the same way as any other core function. To do this, six business dimensions with various associated capabilities are needed to successfully operate as a Data Company. The six dimensions include: 

  1. Governance - Establish the framework to transform corporate data into valuable, actionable information
  2. Information Management - Distribute information to those through the development, execution and delivery of corporate practices that enhance the value of data and information assets
  3. Organization - Ensure that the Enterprise has the leadership and commitment for delivering data maturity
  4. Quality Engineering - Commit to the discipline that information quality is a corporate objective and is managed, monitored and published
  5. Infrastructure - Create the framework for transforming corporate data into corporate information that is scalable, measurable and reliable
  6. Analytics - Turn data into information and information into insights and actionable intelligence


How Mature Is Each Dimension?

Every organization is starting from a different point in its transformation journey. To help you clearly identify your current state, each capability within a dimension is categorized into three distinct maturity levels: Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced.

Many companies think that they could improve their operations by implementing the latest technology. Their belief is they can simply "turn on" a new technology and instantly become a Data Company. In reality, however, this is not the case. Redefining the company culture and redesigning operations are much more difficult and are critical for performing as a Data Company.

Strategic planning is important but strategy execution is what creates the tangible benefits a company. ADMM is a roadmap that provides client-specific recommendations for developing capabilities and a detailed implementation plan for "how" those capabilities should be built. Like any other project plan, implementing ADMM includes activities and milestones, logically sequenced across a defined timeline.


How Does ADMM work?

Two questions about this type of transformation asked by clients are "How much?" and "How long?" It was important for us to think ahead and be able to answer these questions. Recommendations resulting from the up-front ADMM assessment suggest not only what to do and timeframes, but also highlight risks associated with inaction.

In the first blog of this series, I wrote about the disconnect between how executives envision their company should leverage data to improve the business and how the organization tactically operates. To help close this gap, we developed a rapid survey to help us and our clients capture what executives think about their organization's capabilities in the context of operating as a Data Company. The results of this survey are shared with executives in real time, giving them a sense of where their organization is on the journey to becoming a Data Company. 

This assessment is just the first step and will help you understand which overall maturity level you are. The next steps are to conduct in-depth analysis and have conversations with selected managers and staff who provide insights into how data is being leveraged at a more tactical level. We then create a unique roadmap for your organization to become a Data Company.

Learn more about the initial assessment now. See if you are overall at a Foundation, Intermediate or Advance maturity.