For a Global Biotechnology Company, Starting with Deep Investigation Brings Value to Data Quickly
Like so many organizations, this biotechnology client experienced strong growth and then couldn’t trust its reporting. And after the company went public, that issue became magnified. Not only did the client have to meet additional reporting requirements, but the resulting reports were also drawing a lot more eyes—and scrutiny. An especially painful incident saw a board report being issued in two contradictory versions within a single business day. Data issues that had arisen long ago and festered were now blatantly apparent. The client couldn’t be sure where its trouble began and ended, and so the organization enlisted Resultant for a strategic data assessment.
A deeper approach to assessment
For Resultant, a strategic data assessment considers almost two dozen aspects of an enterprise. A lot of effort goes into the research, which happens from several angles and is customized to the identified issues and the organization. Interviewing 10-15 people is customary for many firms, but we go deep into Design Thinking, in this case drawing input from 60 members of the company’s team. That level of detail enables us to move past perceptions of the issue to its root causes, and because we expertly shaped our questions, interviews were held to a firm 15-minute limit to be as efficient and nondisruptive as possible.
Our report provided 30 use cases, 25 projects, and three phases of a data-delivery strategy.
The resulting 200-page report we built for the client identified a clear road map for addressing the issues the organization faced and several routes for overcoming them. It’s a complete assessment of where things stood with nothing that isn’t relevant to the organization’s immediate needs, and it provided options for how to go forward, anticipating market demands and illuminating data architecture changes they hadn’t envisioned.
These reports are often a wake-up call and a starting point. Here, our report was an opportunity to shift the culture, and the organization’s data science leader took full advantage of it.
About the client
A biotechnology company committed to fighting infectious disease all over the world through vaccine research and development.
Assessing now, showing the future
Our report provided 30 use cases, 25 projects, and three phases of a data-delivery strategy. The first phase, which included governance and maturity of the data, addressed the majority of the use cases. We provided myriad criteria and calculations across ten stages to ensure the organization could proceed in the manner and at the speed that would be least disruptive.
Phase 1 of implementation meant building a data governance program—putting in place everything they needed to discover and analyze the data. Their objectives were to:
And because they can go forward with the assurance that every detail has been considered, the path is especially clear, and they can execute much faster. They have the language and facts to bring executive leadership on board—all of which leads to efficient, effective implementation and quick ROI.
Shaping value from a suboptimal current state
Ultimately, people don’t want data governance; they want great data that serves their objectives. Keeping in mind how the client would benefit from these changes enabled us to keep showing value and guiding teams through a lot of change so they could leapfrog ahead of competitors even though they were starting with significant technical debt.
When we came into the picture, the client was working with a host of consultants, and there was a distinct sense of distrust. Part of our early focus was building relationships among the consultants and serving as a resource and communication hub to simplify processes for the client and build an effective collaboration.
Other elements of the client’s situation called on us to move past traditional consulting into a role that encompassed not just technical expertise but political acumen and organizational change management support, with career coaching and leadership alignment mixed in.
A shifted perspective
The assessment process may be incredibly customized, but the result is typically the same: The client becomes enamored of the possibilities data provides. They think differently—holistically. That was the case here, as well.
For example, the client was thrilled to be able to grab all of the numbers from its town hall meetings and break them down so they can execute on the details of revenue goals quite granularly. Previously, they simply didn’t have the data. Now that the data is clean, collectible, and primed for analysis, the client can execute real data science, providing various potential paths for reaching objectives.
The data mesh approach gave us more freedom around both federated and product data, so we could more quickly help the client move past their Excel sheets and break down data silos without disrupting day-to-day operations.