Data-Insight-Action Advisory Services

Enabling Innovative CDAOs to Turn Data Into Actionable Insights

Data and Analytics Strategy Consulting Focused on Connecting Data, Insights, and Actions

Data and analytics strategies aren’t well aligned. Data management and analytic technologies aren’t well integrated. Data and analytics teams are separate. That’s why analytics users spend 80% of their time finding and preparing data. That’s why insights are delivered to business users in reports. Insights aren’t well connected to actions and business applications. 

Data, Insights and Actions must be connected to shorten the time to act on insight and deliver business value faster. Establishing cloud data warehouses and enterprise analytic platforms is just the start. The unmet need is connecting data, insights, and actions at a use case level. It isn’t just a technology solution. It starts with a methodology. 

The Chief Data & Analytics Officer (CDAO) is responsible for connecting data, insights, and actions. They are tasked with utilizing data and analytic insights to meet the needs of their business function leaders.

Why aren’t data and analytics well connected already? Despite well-meaning intentions, disintegrated technology purchases and programs led by different leaders have become a barrier. Before making any more technology purchases or funding another program, the modern CDAO must define and implement a Data-Insight-Action strategy and methodology.

Q Spark Group’s CDAO Management Consulting Services help innovative CDAOs become industry leaders. We create and establish your Data-Insight-Action methodology and strategy with advisory services. We help you execute that strategy with technology solutions and services.

We’ve designed the following advisory services to jump start your DIA strategy

The Role of the Chief Data & Analytics Officer

As Chief Data Officers evolved into Chief Data and Analytic Officers, the implication was clear. Tie data and analytics together more closely. There was also a more subtle implication – ensure that insights are tied to business actions. Analytic teams from business functions came together under the CDAO. Their ongoing connection to business functions is essential. Requirements. Actions. Outcomes. The role of the modern CDAO is focused on integrating data, insights and actions to deliver better business outcomes.

The CDAO must lead this change, and it starts by reversing our default thought pattern. It isn’t about determining what data we have, then figuring out how we can analyze it, and then determining what business problems it can solve. The modern CDAO starts with the business and asks key questions. What outcomes are you trying to drive? What actions could be aided with better insights? And what data is needed to create those insights? The modern CDAO drives their Data-Insight-Action strategy by thinking in reverse – ‘Action-Insight-Data’.

The CDAO drives this change incrementally. They start with defining a Data-Insight-Action strategy and methodology for their team will follow. The next step is to do a self-assessment of their organization’s current maturity in terms of driving data into insights into actions. They find gaps, and then plot a roadmap to improve. And then they implement DIA projects iteratively, building out their framework and technology in the process.

The CDAO must also be a change agent. They must convince their teams, as well as business function leaders, to follow a Data-Insight-Action strategy. Believe it or not, there is still resistance to data-led or data-informed decisions. Evangelizing what data and insights can do for the business, and the benefit of being data-driven, are both very much the mandate of the CDAO. The ones that take this mandate seriously are always the most successful. 

Take the Data-Insight-Action Self-Assessment

Everyone says being data-driven is a journey. But how can you plan that journey if you don’t know where you are starting from? It is essential to know how mature you are in terms of data management, analytics and acting on insights. It is transformative to know how mature you are in terms of integrating those 3 disciplines.

Take 2 minutes and fill out 12 questions. You will get both an individual maturity assessment for data, insights and actions, and a collective assessment across all three disciplines. Recommended next steps to mature Data-Insights-Actions are offered.

Data-Insight-Action Advisory Services

Q Spark Group’s advisory services are meant to help the modern CDAO create and evolve their Data-Insight-Action strategy. Our model varies based on your needs. We can do short-term engagements. We can focus on one aspect of your DIA program. We can help measure your existing DIA maturity and define a strategy and roadmap for improving it. We’ll do what it takes to make your Data-Insight-Action strategy a success.

Creating & Evolving a Data-Insights-Actions Strategy

Creating a Data-Insight-Action Strategy

In order to create meaningful insights for their business function peers, CDAOs need to evolve from a data strategy to a Data-Insight-Action (DIA) strategy. It’s not easy to take time out to rethink the prior data-centric strategy. The common approach is to take some time for annual planning and evolve existing strategies incrementally. That approach can have limitations, not least among them time. CDAOs are busy. Their teams are busy. How often do you get to take a time out and rethink everything?

An outside perspective helps. Experience from other companies. Knowledge of how to implement a Data-Insight-Action strategy. Strategic management consulting will jump start your DIA strategy. Our approach is to start with a self-assessment of your DIA capabilities, define a DIA methodology, identify organization gaps and how to address them, and plot a roadmap of DIA projects. QSG invests in expertise. Our teams are made up of seasoned data, analytics and business experts who understand technology and also how to drive adoption of that technology. Our experience pays off. Our clients implement DIA strategies and projects more quickly and cost efficiently, and have a faster time to value. 

Driving Adoption of Data & Analytics Programs

Getting buy-in for data and analytics programs is time consuming. Implementing those programs is all-encompassing. Sometimes there’s no time left for the CDAO org to promote adoption of those programs. Too often, adoption is assumed – the business funded the program in the first place so why wouldn’t they adopt it? Unfortunately, the focus for promoting adoption becomes how to use the solution, not why you should use the solution. When adoption activities are limited to a go-live announcement and solution walk-throughs, predictably, adoption isn’t as high as expected.

Data Analytics programs are fundamentally change management exercises. You are trying to convince business people to change their behavior to (a) receive new insights and (b) act on them. Q Spark Group’s Data Analytics Adoption program drives usage of your valuable investments. It starts at the project inception, defining the business value of the program and evangelizing it. We collect user stories – before and after having the insights – as people are inspired by stories of their peers. To establish credibility, we bring an outside perspective and share adoption stories and successes from organizations in your industry. Finally, we measure business value after adoption. All of these insights are packaged in appropriate media for sharing internally – meetings, internal social posts, email newsletters, and more. Your Data Analytics programs only deliver value if they are used. Let us help you increase value through adoption. 

Marketing & Selling Your CDAO Program Internally

Marketing & Selling Your Data Analytics Program

Marketing your Data-Insight-Action strategy isn’t easy. Yet funding depends upon it. You are trying to message something complex to your C-suite peers. Often, many CDAOs attempt to justify their expanding programs and budget requests by laying bare the complexity of their work. After all, showing that something is complicated ought to show there’s more valuable work to be done, right? Wrong. Senior executives fund what they understand. It’s true that everyone believes in being data-driven. But if the data-driven strategy seems way too complex, funding may be lacking. 

People are inspired by stories, convinced by facts, and bored by details. Does your data analytics strategy have too many details, a few facts, and not enough stories? Q Spark Group can help. Our CDAO Program Evangelization package includes proven templates and techniques for gaining internal approval. It starts with turning a data analytics strategy into a Data-Insight-Action strategy. The keyword is ‘action’. We start with business needs and impact. Those are the stories for your organization. That is what inspires your C-suite peers. We have similar stories from organizations in your industry, as well as facts that will justify your DIA strategy. Turn your C suite from supporters into believers and raise your program funding.

Fractional CDAO

There are lots of organizations that don’t yet have a CDO or CDAO. Smaller organizations may have delegated that responsibility to their CIO. Larger organizations may have held back on creating the role and organization until seeing how other organizations have fared. Budget constraints may have prevented funding the role and organization. Although other departments, likely IT, may have stepped it to be the ‘owners of data and analytics’, they are likely too overwhelmed with their other mandates to truly drive a data analytics strategy.

A fractional CDAO program can jump start acting on data-driven insights. Q Spark Group’s Fractional CDAO offering is tailored for your needs. Need a CDAO to set up a data-insight-action strategy? We’ve got it. Need a data and analytics team to implement your first projects? We’ve got you covered. Need a business leader to justify a data-insight-action approach with a business case? We can do it. Q Spark Group’s fractional CDAO program can cover all the bases, with as much or as little time and resources as you need. We’re designed to set you up, help hire a team, and then transition into being your Data-Insight-Action partner. 

Data-centric FinOps

FinOps has become a hot topic. It’s no wonder, with cloud costs rising beyond initial projections and economic uncertainty causing budget tightening. FinOps teams have emerged in many organizations. They monitor all cloud spending and have software to track cloud instances. They identify instances that can be shut down and right-sized. They can be very effective at initial budget reductions by identifying those low hanging fruit. But how effective are they at ongoing efficiencies and harder to identify opportunities? 

Every cloud instance has data. Data drives cloud costs. Storage costs. Compute costs (to access it, update it, or analyze it). Manage data, and you manage cloud costs. Wrong-sized environments for dev and QA. Wrong-timed instances that could be shut down 1 month earlier. Temporary copies of data kept as ‘insurance’ that aren’t really necessary. It’s not a one-time exercise. Data gets created and copied every single day. In order to realize those efficiencies, you need data-centric Fin Ops. Q Spark Group provides that expertise. We understand all aspects of data in the cloud. We can be that neutral arbiter between your finance and IT/data teams to determine what data is really necessary, and what data can be trimmed to save cloud costs. Initial FinOps savings were great, but long term cloud efficiencies will be even better. Work with a data-expert to make that come to fruition.

The Q Spark Difference

Q Spark Group’s team consists of experts in data, analytics and business functions with an average of 20+ years experience. Our experience isn’t limited to technology. It includes helping organizations set up CDO and CDAO programs, driving change management for data and analytics projects, and creating business cases to sell data-centric analytic initiatives.

Q Spark’s model is delivering short-term projects. We want to spark innovation and create something new for your organization. Then we hand it over to you. Whether that is a new data analytics project or setting up an entire CDAO org, we want to create it and make you self-sufficient. Our methodology, The Spark, is designed to create value and transition to your team as quickly as possible. 

We have expertise that isn’t easy to hire. Many of our clients may struggle to recruit and retain top-level data and analytics executive talent, as well as data scientists and data engineers. Q Spark Group is designed as a short-term outsourcing that gets your program up and running, and then to help hire and transition that program to you. We don’t create dependencies, we build self-sufficiency. 

Executing a Data-Insight-Action Strategy

What makes Q Spark Group truly different is our ability to transition from creating a strategy to executing it. Our senior team members can help you with management consulting and advisory services such as setting up a data-insight-action strategy, driving adoption, and internal selling. Once that strategy is established and funded, it’s time to execute. 

Q Spark Group’s teams will transition from creation to execution of your strategy. Our solution offerings are designed to help you with major Data-Insight-Action initiatives such as the ones below.

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Contact Us Regarding Marketing & Selling CDAO Programs