What it is

We have partnered with Michael “the code whisperer” McDonald, CTO/CDO of FlatWorld Integration, to design a Data Strategy Benchmark Workshop. This is specifically for organisations who are aware of the issues and opportunities surrounding their data but aren’t sure where to start or have started and aren’t sure where to go to next; and who want an objective, external view of their data before they invest significant amounts of time, money, people resources on the area.

The workshop delivers a Data Benchmark against your organisation’s Strategic Business Vision and Plan. We work to initially understand your key business priorities and strategic drivers towards customer centricity, resource and process efficiency, agile organisation transformation, digital transformation, data security and compliance, brand reputation etc.

We guide a review of your entire data ecosystem of internal and external data sources across six key areas including: financial; operations, production and supply chain; data, insight, strategy, innovation and technology; brand, customer and marketing; people, culture and capability; legal, risk, compliance and security.

Together we develop the target state of data against your organisation’s future vision and compare it against the current state of data from the review, conducting a gap analysis to identify the key gaps that need to be filled.

Written up, this provides the Data Benchmark that will provide you with the start point developing a strategic roadmap, identifying priorities and how to fill the gaps, tactical goals and implementation.

Why it’s important

The goal of your Data Strategy is to have a clear plan on how your organisation’s data will drive both your operational and long-term goals.

While most organisations have a reasonable understanding of what data they use to perform daily operations, few have a longer term and holistic view – more often than not, it is fragmented and siloed.

Whether you have a large organisation with multiple products or a group of organisations that act under one brand, the visibility and use of data across and between products or organisations is virtually non-existent other than a few Excel extracts of varying accuracy, in some cases presented as a dashboard.

Data is often more disparate when there have been mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, where success actually depends upon alignment and efficiencies.

Regardless of the organisation’s structure, many organisations have not considered that they are interacting with the customer via a data ecosystem of internal and external sources (whereby the customer can be a consumer, partner, supplier, stakeholder or employee), and they only have a part of this – usually the siloed, operational internal data as outlined above.  In many cases, this is exacerbated by stacks of new and legacy technologies that don’t talk to each other.

Combine this with the fluid nature of business – new and changing markets, products, partners, employees; organic and inorganic growth – and you have a situation where you don’t know:

  • What data you have and what you don’t to be able to measure success, identify issues and new opportunities;
  • How and where your data is used, posing a threat to data security, cyber security, legislation and compliance requirements and customer trust.


A Data Strategy that considers data first and then overlays the technology capability to enable the data strategy is needed to solve this – providing a clear benchmark and road map on how to manage and leverage your data and data relationships, now and in the future, while balancing the often conflicting element of compliance, security and trust.

How we go about it

  1. Briefing and planning
  2. Investigation: understanding organisation structure and business model, strategic business plan and drivers, internal/external data sources across six key areas, security and compliance
  3. Data Benchmark & Gap Analysis: develop a target state of data against the organisation’s future vision vs where you are now and identify the gaps
  4. Strategic Roadmap: develop goals, time horizons, prioritise, rationalise and identify how to fill the gaps, and map the journey
  5. Tactical goals: define specific pathways from where you are now to where you need to go and consider the plan from different perspectives including data systems, compliance and data security, data as a an asset; organisational change, IT development, external sources; data ecosystem


Once we have the benchmarks, roadmap and tactical goals, we can then look at information architecture, mapping your data ecosystem of internal/external sources and how they integrate and identifying key compliance and data security requirements at each point.

Please contact us to discuss further what we can do for you. 

About Michael McDonald

Michael McDonald is the CTO/CDO of FlatWorld Integration.  He brings 30 years of data and technology experience across large complex organisations such as Shell, Telstra, Deutsche Telcom, Ericsson, Siemens, Fox Sports and the Commonwealth Bank along with a variety of Australian and Silicon Valley start-ups.

Through a data first lens, Michael is a world-leader in the design, development and delivery of state-of-the-art and next-generation, real-time, hyper-personalised, omni-channel digital experience technology integrated with leading-edge machine learning, embracing new technologies such as bots, drones, real-bots, Google Home, etc.

His deep data-security, cyber-security, compliance and auditing experience and awareness, enables him to deliver world-class, enterprise-grade, scalable, secure data technology solutions that comply with the growing demands of governmental compliance, from Anti-Money-Laundering to Data Security. Michael has worked in Telecommunications, Energy/Resources, Financial Services and Media.