Making information meaningful

The impact Data Governance has on innovation

Jim Cohen, September 30, 2016

competitive race

Our only Competitive Advantage is to learn faster than our competitors

Yes, for those of you who recognise the quote, I borrowed this title from Arie de Geus (Strategist – Shell Oil) and while it may be over 20 years old, the sentiment applies more now than ever. With a plethora of agile tools available to business, the lead time for any competitor to match or better New Product Design has reduced from what was traditionally years to mere weeks. So in reality to gain competitive advantage through innovation, all that sets us apart from any competitor is for us to learn faster and in turn, implement products, processes or solutions which reflect what we have learned.

This being the case, it stands to reason that a starting point for innovation is to first have comprehensive knowledge of your business’ current position before departing on future initiatives. What can be learned from existing methodologies, processes, experiences and trends and how can these be relied upon as the foundation for change. The decisions made from what you have learned will have significant impact on success.

The cornerstone of Quality Decision Making within an organisation is the quality of data upon which decisions are built. Data integrity plays such a critical role in the organisation, it follows that Data Governance should hold its place as “first among equals” in the spectrum of business tools available to strategists and decision makers.

Because Data Governance matters, best results are achieved through knowledge based on the broadest possible spectrum of data – not just the bottom line produced by the ERP or other core system. In order to gain the advantage of your entire knowledge within the business it is necessary to bring together data sets from all aspects of paper, digital and activities. Data Governance emanates out of the right tools and a defined set of procedures, specifically focussed on achieving these outcomes:
– Increased confidence in decision making
– Decreased Risk
– Better planning and strategising
– Faster identification of improvement areas
– Better staff effectiveness

In other words; the ability for an organisation to Learn all there is, from end to end, elevates the success of future innovation – whatever form it may take.

Jim has over two decades of experience focusing on identifying needs and delivering solutions. He is a strong believer in the power of bringing the right people and processes together with Avantix to deliver outcomes that work. “It is all about realising joint value for all parties in the engagement”. Contact him at

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