Why digital transformation must be data-driven

Successful digital transformation depends heavily on translating data into insights, products and services. Actually, we should therefore speak of “data-driven” digital transformation.

The fact that this is certainly important now can be deduced from the growth in the global data sphere, which will contain some 163 zettabytes of data in 2025, according to IDC research. More than a trillion gigabytes of data, a treasure for companies that will create new user experiences and unlock new business opportunities.

Organizations that embrace data-driven digital transformation attract new customers faster and develop new revenue streams faster. Particularly in this light, it is important to what extent Dutch companies are already working on this. In collaboration with TNS Kantar, we investigated the “data-centricity” of Dutch organizations with more than one hundred employees and came to the conclusion that data is far from being a “first class citizen” everywhere.

Half of the organizations have a clear objective

The survey, conducted among Dutch IT decision-makers, revealed several issues. For example, it appears that half of the organizations have described the importance of data for them very to extremely clearly. The objective is equally clear. They also look at customers. Slightly less than half (i.e. still a minority) indicates that customers benefit fairly or very much from their data-centric thinking and the resulting services.

Data as a product or service

Almost half of the organizations provide data as a product or service. This usually involves edited data. It is worth noting that only one-third of the data-providing organizations regard this data as their main product. By far the majority of organizations do have the right tools and techniques to unlock the value of data. Of course, people are needed to be able to do this successfully. Well, they are often there: in almost six out of ten organizations, there are now specific data function profiles. In even more cases (two out of three companies), an internal data management process has been set up.

Many organizations well on their way

In general, the survey results show that many Dutch organizations are on the right track. For them, data-centricity is not a case of “unfamiliarity breeds suspicion” and the first forays out with products and services based on data have been made. On the other hand, there is also a large group that is less far away or even has yet to start. With the speed at which digitization is taking place and more and more companies are taking the lead as a result of market disruptions, they should be concerned. In all cases, it is advisable to organize (either start with or improve) the management of the data further.

Want to know more about how Dutch organizations deal with data? Please read our research report.