Data & Analytics Strategy and Maturity Roadmap for Medical Device Manufacturer

AIM Consulting

SITUATION & BUSINESS CHALLENGE

A manufacturing division of a global medical-device maker needed to assess its data and analytics (D&A) maturity level. Division leadership knew it had the pieces of a big data puzzle, but that they did not fit together well. Existing data science tools were not utilized, the company was still using waterfall processes, and the organization did not operate with clearly defined roles and responsibilities or with accountability to other groups. In fact, the division lacked many critical elements of a strong data program, including:

  • No data governance or data architecture/platform
  • No standard analytics environment
  • No understanding of how to scale a data program moving forward

Division leaders were in a bind. On one hand, they understood that if they attempted to design and build a data platform and data science program themselves, they could get too federated and not have proper governance and controls. On the other hand, if they relied too heavily on central IT, they would not receive the necessary direction to run their data platform and might even become a shadow IT group.

Knowing they lacked the knowledge and experience to build a cohesive D&A strategy in their own organization, senior leadership looked outside for a trustworthy consulting partner to lead them down the right path. They turned to AIM Consulting’s Data & Analytics practice for its strong record of success in helping large organizations navigate complex challenges.

Almost every organization I speak with asks ‘what is the right strategy, and how do I transform my organization to be able to meet the disruption of technologies in play right now?’ ”

— Ryan Wakefield, Director – Data & Analytics

SOLUTION

AIM Consulting partnered with the division to deliver the following:

  • A comprehensive review of its BI/D&A operating model and roles and responsibilities;
  • Recommendations on data governance structures, processes, and policies;
  • Recommendations on the division’s BI ecosystem and supporting big data architecture and technologies;
  • A one-year tactical program plan to address current analytics needs and long-term scalability of a data platform; and
  • Recommendations on long-term vision (3+ years) across people, processes, and technology.

AIM began by assessing the organization’s data and analytics environment and artifacts. The division had a draft of a governance structure, org chart, some functional requirements, some of its current state architecture, and a vision statement of where it wanted to go. AIM included these pieces in creating a broad strategic guidance draft for the division, leveraging knowledge and learnings from previous projects with large organizations. Over an 8-week period, AIM Consulting presented a variety of different deliverables and recommendations to help guide the division in how to build a D&A program from the ground up, including:

Governance charter document — The charter included guidance on how to structure an agile product team. It included formalization of roles and responsibilities for a data architect, data scientist, data engineer, etc. and how to relate the vision to the current state of these roles in the organization. The roles were also defined in relation to how they function within a product team, as well as what governance needs to be institutionalized to support the product team going forward. For an organization that was still building products with waterfall processes, this was a lot to ingest.

Roadmap — AIM presented illustrative roadmaps that pulled from previous engagements, showing a variety of ways the division could progress. The roadmaps mirrored several similar themes, such as the need for a strong data platform in order to leverage data services and analytics services, having a governance program in place, and a strong focus on building out specific product teams to attain the results the organization would want. AIM recommended to begin with a project that helped to build the agile product team moving forward.

Future vision — Again pulling knowledge and learnings from previous engagements, AIM Consulting stressed the importance of maintaining flexibility with regard to future strategies, as market trends can change rapidly. The discussion included modern technologies such as AI and the cloud, and how to build a platform that leverages these key elements while being prepared for disruption of current technologies. Because the future is not rigid, the leaders of the new D&A platform would need to govern and manage for changes not only in technology, but also in internal business priorities.

AIM also emphasized a key learning from its considerable experience with past D&A engagements—that the most important success factor for an organization is to have is a strong leader who can navigate and guide through future change. When a strong leader champions a new platform, it’s far more likely that the organization will buy into it and achieve success.

RESULTS

AIM Consulting’s industry expertise in data and analytics helped the division lay the right foundation and build a strategy to position data science as a critical part of the organization. With AIM’s guidance, the division decided to launch one of the starter programs suggested by the roadmap: enhancing the underlying data architecture as a mechanism to enable further data science efforts.

Data science is still a young industry, and while some organizations have a solid understanding of how to leverage data science, many do not yet have this level of maturity. AIM Consulting’s Data & Analytics practice lends a depth of experience to help organizations avoid the major pain of adopting new data strategies and building data platforms.

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Whether you need help with technology strategy and implementation, an in-flight project in need of additional resources, or individual contributors to bridge critical gaps in your teams, AIM is here to help.

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