Analytics

The Utopia: Standardized Data Across The Globe (for Global Company)

Theory:

Increase standardization decreases customization, which leads to lower initial cost curve and increase adoption rate of the technology. Though over time costs do increase, the increase is handicapped with cross-learning and spreading of the risks among various internal entities. Theoretically all companies will benefit in concentrating their key data processes into a standard format and flow.

 

My Experience:

With few notable exceptions, in global companies (at least in Fortune 500) all major standardization for data, systems, processes, metrics and technologies initiatives will fail in reaching most, if any, of their objectives. Experience curve, rate of technology change, rate of adoption, competition, short-termism, and internal company’s group will detract, diminish, and, eventually, downsize major data initiatives.

Internal special interest teams will not yield their influence over data and its related processes. They tend to be better organized, closer to the source of power, and have grassroot support that major (top-down) standardization initiatives do not. The locus of control is locked into the mid-level managers who have incentives to protect and grow their vision of data structure. The bigger the bureaucratic structure the more powerful the managers on local level. They are already set much of the strategic direction of the company. LinkedIn and the like have, unsurprisingly, scares number of articles about projects that unified the entire company from end-to-end of analytics continuum successfully.

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