Why Smart Data?
Big Data, Advanced Analytics, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, self-learning machines – all these topics offer plenty of substance for fascinating new ideas. These may be more efficient processes, new or optimised products and services or entire new business models.
The use of these new tools and technologies – in whatever form – is now within reach and often necessary for most businesses of any size and in any sector.
avato Service Offering
avato offers clients a comprehensive service range to create innovations and relevant business results from available data – all under the header of Smart Data. More details on these topics and some use cases are included in this white paper. It describes a procedural model for the initiation of Smart Data projects and offers pointers for key success factors as well as problem areas observed in practical use cases.
Many Types of Smart Data Projects
Smart data projects cover a broad spectrum of topics. They can be triggered by concrete issues that require data-based solutions or may entail strategic initiatives under the header Industry 4.0, Big Data, the use of Artificial Intelligence etc. Project objectives may vary – from the development of ideas for Smart Data implementation and strategic roadmaps to prototypes or go-lives for individual use cases, to the development of comprehensive Smart Data and IT architectures, including their structural and procedural organisation. There is one aspect that all smart data projects have in common, no matter their specific trigger, objective or proposed scope: they all need a well-structured and systematic approach to be successful.
The avato Smart Data Procedural Model
Almost all of the traditionally used methods for projects in the area of Big Data, Advanced Analytics, Data Science, etc., focus on the actual data analysis process and are mostly based on the CRISP-DM model. This procedural model was designed for the actual data analysis process and is well-suited for that purpose. A practice-oriented and structured approach must take into account other aspects that will be essential for success. These specifically include business, IT, data governance and security aspects, as well as appropriate project and change management in addition to data-analytical aspects. All that must then be viewed against the background of the ‘Smart Data maturity’ of the business and the powerful dynamics across the entire market.
avato has developed a Smart Data procedural model that considers and includes all these aspects. It delivers a structured framework, which – depending on the initial situation, the project objectives and the various basic conditions – is then adapted to the client and project situation and translated into a project plan.
We recommend proceeding in the following logical phases:
The beginning is marked by the structured development of a plan (alignment & discovery). Next comes the implementation of one or more application scenarios – often also following feasibility studies or prototypes (proof of concept) – including a go-live deployment and subsequent operations and optimisation phases. Another important component is an appropriate project and change management right from the get-go. Experience shows that Smart Data projects often initially produce unexpected challenges. They require the close cooperation of people from areas that traditionally have little or no contact and may be accustomed to sometimes very different work methods and ‘languages’. The fear of far-reaching change in the wake of these projects among employees should not be underestimated.
Success-Critical Expert Domains & Project Roles
Smart Data projects require teamwork. Business and process expertise, data science and data management expertise, IT expertise for the existing business IT and special Advanced Analytics IT topics must all be represented. As with any interdisciplinary team projects of some complexity, project managers are also needed who can motivate a team and provide structured leadership. Depending on the objective and environment, change management experts may also play an important role.
avato offers the specialist expertise you need for Smart Data projects:
Data engineers and data scientists obviously play central roles, but so do business consultants, IT architects, developers and even project managers need special expertise for Smart Data projects. Physicists, IT experts and business data processing specialists form the core of our avato Smart Data team. We expect our clients to make available a project lead in addition to a project sponsor from their management team, as well as the provision of expertise in the relevant business or production process, plus the involvement of relevant in-house IT experts. We will then put together a project and task-specific avato team in close collaboration with you to fill the required project roles with high-quality resources. The senior level of our consultants will keep the team manageable, while increasing its effectiveness and efficiency.
The organisational handling of responsibilities and processes with regard to master data, data security, privacy, data quality, etc. varies from client to client. With the rise of Smart Data, the importance of these topics will continue to increase and will – at least in the mid-term – require organisational adjustments.
A proof of concept for some Predictive Analytics use case scenarios will certainly not require organisational changes within the company with regards to data organisation. For strategic initiatives and the increasing use of Big and Smart Data, however, an early discussion of how a company should react to the continuously growing importance of data and associated internal and external requirements in terms of organisational changes would be prudent.
New specialist roles like data engineers and data scientists must be integrated into the organisation in a way that allows them to add their value efficiently. Last but not least, the IT organisation will be facing new tasks – specifically in the operation of new Smart Data applications.
We will help you to find solutions to suit your specific situation.