by Will Bryant

The Challenge

At a global transportation and logistics company, data plays an increasingly important role in managing risk and meeting customers’ analytic demands. Over the last 15 years, our client’s data provisioning and data usage have kept pace by growing organically and tactically. Looking ahead, leadership realized the need for a new data strategy to address a number of crucial requirements: flexibility; data availability, scalability, integrity; and alignment with the organization growth strategy. The company saw the need for independent expertise to evaluate the many different options and engaged Point B to lead a data strategic assessment.

Overcoming Technical Debt  

Point’s B’s investigation included more than 80 interviews with over 100 unique stakeholders to gather their thoughts on current and future needs for data and analytics capabilities. We also assessed the clients’ existing data architecture and components in support of those requirements—a process that identified a number of gaps.

Our research revealed that one of the biggest challenges was our client’s complex, custom-developed architecture, and the need to overcome the technical debt of all those legacy systems. We also identified new data governance processes and organizational changes around the enterprise data architect role.

We went on to generate a detailed, multi-year roadmap for building a new, more agile architecture while still supporting all business functions during the transition. We also reviewed their current initiatives and made specific recommendations on whether to continue, change or halt each one. The resulting workstreams were incorporated into the roadmap.

Throughout the project we worked with internal teams to solicit feedback, gain buy-in and finalize deliverables. Our close collaboration with internal teams was key to presenting a roadmap with viable options and recommendations from a leadership group of more than     50 members.

Bringing the Future Online

Point B’s specific recommendations and practical steps reflected their current situation as well as their strengths and challenges to successful transition to the future state. Our client used our independent recommendations for an internal debate that led to adoption of the roadmap as part of their revised strategy. They also launched several quick-win initiatives during the project.

Our client is now well along in executing the roadmap and scaling up from one-off customer solutions to more repeatable services; and managing risks that come with tighter integration in its customers’ supply chains.