Crystal Widjaja (Reforge Partner and former SVP Growth and Business Intelligence at Gojek, the Indonesian ride hailing, e-commerce and financial services giant (valued at $40 billion)), shares some valuable insights and offers a practical framework for data strategy, data development and data decision making in her article, Scaling Data.
The key, according to Widjaja, is to think and about your data as an integral part of your overall growth strategy. The role that data plays in your business should evolve in line with your business as it scales. If you get that right, then decisions about data scientist or data team hiring and data tools resourcing will all fall into place.
To be practical, Widjaja provides a helpful framework for designing a scalable data organization. Her framework distinguishes companies into three key data groups: data informed, data driven and data led according to the business maturity and the data needs characteristic of each group:
- Data informed companies are focused on reaching stable user retention and their data requirements are largely about operational visibility.
- Having reached stable user retention, data driven companies are focused on optimizing product features and their key need for data is to drive growth with scalable tooling, data products and deep insights.
- Data led companies are focused on automating data services that enable automated decision making and product experiences.
The business needs and data capabilities that characterize the data strategy focus of companies at each stage are summarized in the following table.
Although the framework is described progressively starting from an immature data informed company and leading to a mature data led one, it is important to note that it may not be appropriate nor does every company need to become data led.