The data ambition matrix: awareness and ambition about data integration in supply chains

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The effective use of data in business settings is becoming increasingly important in the contemporary economy. Whereas traditional business economists state that a business organization relies on the three pillars materials, personnel and finance, modern economists add data as a fourth, equally important pillar. Data can be used to feed decision making on all levels. At the operational level, it can be used to control the activities of an organization. At the tactical level, it can be the basis for making an organization reactive in a dynamic market context. At the strategic level, data can be the basis for plotting the future of an organization.
Many organizations in practice do not use the full potential of data on all levels. An important barrier is how data are organized, usually in isolated functional silos. Such data in isolation is of little value within the organization – and even less when multiple organizations are involved in a supply chain or business network. Data that is fully enclosed in a business silo (for example a
business function like procurement of manufacturing – or even a part of such a function) can be used to control that silo to some extent, but not to coordinate business activities across silos within the organization, or across organizations. To enable high-level control, data needs to be exchanged and integrated in an organization or in a network.
To help organizations define how to organize their data in line with their operational, tactical and strategic goals, we have developed the Data Ambition Matrix (DAM). This matrix is a tool that helps organizations determine where they currently are in data integration and what their ambition is (or should be) towards the future. The matrix is based on widely accepted academic theory: the Value Chain Model of Porter (Porter, 1985). It is configured such that it can be easily applied in practice.
In this paper, we first present the Data Ambition Matrix. Next, we briefly explain the academic theory background of the DAM. Then we discuss why the DAM is important for business practice. We discuss the first practice experiments we have conducted with the DAM. We end this short paper with an outlook of future developments.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEindhoven
PublisherEuropean Supply Chain Forum
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

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