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  • Fredrik De Vries

Define information needs prior big data initiatives

Updated: Aug 28

Data today is available in unlimited quantities. If sensors and systems do not capture enough data, you buy data or access other data sources. All this data in databases or data-lakes must be transformed into information to create value for your organisation.

To prevent you drowning in data-lakes we provide a perspective how to start with data, …small. Big Data is also a costly affair with uncertain outcomes as explained in this Forbes article.

An approach leading to success being far less costly, involving both management and operation by defining the business information needs first. Break the information down to data and start a dialog with operations about data availability and quality. Reliable business information is a prerequisite in making wise decisions for any organisation’s future.


Parallel can operations work with data flow creation. This data flow is the basis for fulfilling management information requirements. Reliable and quality data is also key for controlling product & service delivery and monitoring performance. Operations must take the business data quality requirements and implement a clear strategy for ongoing cleansing and monitoring of data quality.


This two-way approach Top down & Bottom up simultaneously has the following benefits compared with a Big Data project.

· The costs and risks are significantly lower

· The management level sets the example and is actively involved

· These initiatives will become an on-going process for the future

· Learning to prepare for large scale digitalisation and transformation projects

Difference between data and information

To initiate this two-way approach understanding of the fundamentally different meaning of data and information is important.

Data: Data is raw, unorganized facts that need to be processed. Data can be something simple and seemingly random and useless until it is organized.

Information: When data is processed, organized, structured or presented in a given context so as to make it useful, it is called information.


The data and information value for an organisation

DIKW model (Data – Information – Knowledge – Wisdom)

Data and information are of vital importance for your organisation’s future. Your deeper understanding of how data develops into knowledge and eventually in wisdom is crucial for organisational development. Wisdom enables you to predict the future.



Information & data impact on the digital supply chain

Data and information flows superimposed on the Dynamic Business Model gives the following result.

Data connects the value chain together and makes it effective and efficient in delivering products and services to customers. It contains value in visualising the day to day operation and enabling operations to control, monitor and adjust.

The correct processing of good quality data into information has a strategic value as it is key for management making the right decision adapting the organisation to its changing environment.




Two approaches in collaboration

The chances for success are significantly higher when this collaborative two-way approach is adopted instead of one project at the time or two stand-alone projects.


1. Top down approach

This project is designed and executed by the management. They decide which information they need from the organisation and in what state that information is presented. This might not be available, but it is the task of operations, data experts and business analysts to obtain data which is transformed into information satisfying top management needs.

2. Bottom up approach

Integration of applications is a priority for organisations taking their future serious. The removal of repetitive tasks and the increase of data reliability are concrete results of application integration.


The Chills application integration platform build on a new soft code technology enables application integrations where 1 platform expert decides with 1 business person the data requirements and subsequent data processing steps delivering the required information to management.


You pave the path to govern your supply chain using available data and creating new data. This path will grow and eventually become your information highway.



Future contemplations

Any building project, physical or digital, demands planning, preparation and adjustments. Soon after initiation this two-way approach, customers will be confronted with two questions:

· How do we keep track of the different data types?

· How do we manage the data decision-making process?

The answers are enterprise data strategy & data governance, emerging as the next steps after initiating the two-way approach building the information highway.

Enterprise data strategy

Data being the most valuable asset in the digital era. But there is no magic to it. It requires hard and persistent work by humans to assure good quality data according to this EY article.

Data Governance

Transparency in who is responsibility for decisions regarding information and data is crucial for a trustworthy & reliable data governance. Assigning people with decision making rights requires a solid understanding about the value data possesses for your organisation.


A future article will address the need for, and content of data governance and enterprise data strategy documents. Development and implementation are essential for a successful digitalisation and transformation of any organisation.

Writers: Fredrik De Vries - CEO & Bård Øvrebø - CTO

Dynamic Integrations, AI - software & platform development




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