Published on

December 28, 2022

Understanding the Value of Data Centricity

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David Middelbeck

Managing Director


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Data centricity involves viewing the organization and management of data as a strategic asset. It involves making data the focus of an organization's processes and decisions rather than just an afterthought or byproduct. This blog will dive into what data-centricity entails and what such a data-centric organization could look like. Furthermore, we will show you its benefits and why it is essential.

What is data centricity?

Data centricity refers to the idea that data is at the center of an organization's operations and decision-making processes. This means that data is considered a key asset and is treated with the same level of importance as other business-critical resources, such as people, technology, and processes.

In a data-centric organization, data is used to inform decision-making at all levels, from strategic planning to operational execution. This requires a strong focus on data quality and data management, as well as a culture that values data literacy and the use of data to drive business outcomes.

Data-centricity can help organizations to make more informed and data-driven decisions, leading to improved efficiency, agility, and competitiveness. It also requires organizations to adopt a data-driven culture and mindset, which can be challenging but ultimately rewarding.

What does a data centric organization look like?

A data-centric organization emphasizes data as a key asset and leverages it to inform decision-making at all levels. In such an organization, data is collected, stored, and managed in a structured and organized manner, with a strong focus on data quality and governance. The following points are essential characteristics of a data-centric company:

  • Data is considered a strategic asset and is treated with the same level of importance as other business-critical resources.
  • There is a strong focus on data literacy and the use of data to drive business outcomes.
  • Data is used for informing decision-making at all levels, from strategic planning to operational execution.
  • There is a culture that values data and the use of data to drive business outcomes
  • There are robust data management processes in place, including data collection, storage, and governance.
  • There is a focus on data quality and the accuracy of the data in use.


Why would you want to build more data skills in your company?

The answer for that is rather simple: Companies benefit greatly from upskilling their employees in data skills.

By making use of available data, you will be able to discover unknown patterns and thus inevitably foster innovation within the company.

  • Demand planning
  • Price optimization
  • Trend prediction
  • Customer behavior forecasting
  • Competitor research

All of the above are use cases for analyzing data, but there are many more! Most importantly, expertise with data tools generates new ideas and questions that are largely inaccessible when only relying on intuition or experience.

Here are some examples from German “Mittelstand” companies:

  • The Voith Group, a manufacturer of machines for the pulp and paper industry, managed to lay the foundations to open a new long-term business for its service department.
  • Christoph Wagner from IAV, an engineering company that operates in the automotive industry, says that implementing a simple visualization software helped shape the firm's strategy by giving everyone the same understanding of current and future problems.
  • The SchuF Group, a market leader for specialty valves that cater to the chemical industry, was able to smoothen their production by connecting databases and standardizing their internal processes.

A stronger focus on available data will always result in better solutions for existing or new problems and opportunities. It does not matter if you manage an enterprise with hundreds of thousands of employees or a small-sized business.

The five benefits of implementing data centricity in your organization

1. Improved decision-making

Using data to drive decisions, rather than gut instincts or opinions, your organization can make more informed and objective choices. For example, a company could use customer behavior and preferences data to decide which products to develop or which marketing campaigns to invest in. Decisions can be linked to specific metrics, which allows the leadership to measure and compare success more readily.

Two people making decisions based on data

2. Enhanced efficiency

A data-centric approach can help you identify inefficiencies and opportunities for process improvement. An organization might use data analysis to identify workflow bottlenecks or optimize its supply chain. This can lead to increased productivity and cost savings.

3. Increased innovation

By analyzing data and identifying trends and patterns, your organization can identify new opportunities for innovation and growth. For example, a company might use data to identify a new market or to develop a new product or service.

4. Enhanced customer experience

By using data to understand customer needs and preferences, you can deliver a more personalized and relevant experience to your customers. A company might use data on customer interactions to tailor its marketing efforts or to improve its customer service. Gaining these insights also contributes to the innovation benefit. Understanding your customer needs better can result in more accurate predictions of new trends and desires, leading to more success in the future.

5. Greater competitive advantage

Organizations can gain a competitive advantage over their rivals by leveraging data to make better decisions and identify new opportunities. For example, a company that uses data to optimize its operations or identify new market trends might be able to outmaneuver its competitors and capture a larger market share. Simply put, with more and higher qualitative knowledge, better organizational decisions can be made.

Unlock the power of data today

Data centricity is an essential tool for organizations to stay ahead in the market and develop a better understanding of their customers, employees, and operations. By investing in data literacy and technology, organizations can improve decision-making, boost efficiency, and gain a competitive advantage over their rivals. The key is understanding the importance of data, knowing how to make it work for your organization, and complementing it with the right training opportunities for your employees. Want to master data literacy? Find out how in our e-book!

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edyoucated is funded by leading research institutions such as the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).

Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB)