In Part 1 of this blog series - we introduced the term SPANDREL- an architectural term describing the area where two arches that come together - and also used by geneticists to describe secondary byproducts of adaptions that were not necessarily adaptations themselves - but that were later co-opted for a current use.
Our goal is to to examine the modern corporation - a typical Fortune 500 company - and apply the Spandrel Metaphor to it - as it relates to Data Analytics.
The premise? That at most Fortune 500 Companies, there exist frameworks and capabilities that support other normal business functions - and that at key intersections - there exists enormous potential for Data Analytics and disruptive innovation.
This blog is draft / ideation stage - so please forgive the informal approach...
The Four Arches:
- DATA > Data & Data Warehouses -
- Original Intent: Byproducts of managing what you measure; typical business tracking; CRM; data breadcrumbs; operational data; IT data;
- Spandrel Superpower: aggregated, these 'dark data assets' create a data mountain; data merged with other data creates a cross-pollination - an insight multiplier; dark data holds many secrets; and much of the data is ONLY available to company.
- BI CAPABILITIES > Traditional Business Intelligence & Analysts
- Original Intent: Tracking and Measuring the Business; First-order insights; KPIs & Metrics
- Spandrel Superpower: A foundation on which to build the Spandrel; Basic tools; Frameworks in orgs that have budget and sit near second order analytics (in reach); data cleaning and clean data;
- RAW TALENT > Enthusiastic Talent & Curiosity:
- Original Intent: Hiring good people; Positive work culture; Creative thinking; Enthusiasm to innovate; Bold souls who are not afraid to experiment and to fail at core business, will also be driven to succeed at the edges
- Spandrel Superpower: A team of people who 'think data'; keeners who love to explore, to dig for insights; Especially useful when provided access to #1, and leveraging tools and people from #2 to drive towards 'actionable intelligence'
- CONNECTIONS > Rolodex and Relationships
- Original Intent: Relationships that are part of standard course of business;
- Spandrel Superpower: Other profit motivated organizations that may have a big piece of the puzzle; the other half of the arch. Often, the #1 Data is one part of a bigger solution - potential partners can often bring talent or other data to the party - and the #2 team can help get access to/from.
So this begs the question - if this is a valid mental model - so what? How can it be applied to generate shareholder value?
Potential benefits may include:
- Shared model and language will help get people on same page - to better decide if there exists potential
- Managers can understand non-core benefits to company - and can be coached to allow flexibility & judgement
- Leaders can help break down the walls - where a clear cost/benefit argument can be made;
- If sensible, leadership can create safe spaces to experiment - time, space, money, talent to explore - and flexibility to fail.
- Create space to "Let the ideas breathe"
- Provide a foundation model to 'hack' and make our own - i.e. slice and dice to apply to unique circumstances
- Foster a culture of sensible risk
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Created: July 25, 2014Englishfrançais