Knowledge Benefit Matrix: A New Approach to Assume About Knowledge Technique – Atlan
12 mins read

Knowledge Benefit Matrix: A New Approach to Assume About Knowledge Technique – Atlan


There’s nobody path to creating an information technique. Right here’s tips on how to discover yours and create sturdy knowledge benefits. 

Because the co-founder of two knowledge start-ups, one query I get on a regular basis is, “How do I get began with my knowledge technique? The place will we begin? What will we prioritize?”

It’s an comprehensible query. At this time corporations are bombarded with reminders in regards to the significance of utilizing knowledge. In NewVantage Companions’ annual survey, the share of corporations that put money into knowledge initiatives was near-universal (actually 99% in 2021) for the third 12 months in a row.

However whereas investing in knowledge is a given, really utilizing knowledge can really feel like a crapshoot. In that very same survey, solely 24% of corporations stated that that they had created a data-driven tradition.

The wrestle is actual…

Determining your knowledge technique is much from simple. To assist the leaders and corporations making an attempt to determine their general knowledge technique, I’ve created a framework that I name the Knowledge Benefit Matrix

On this article, I’ll break down how to consider your knowledge technique, how the matrix works, and provides examples of how two hypothetical corporations would use it.

Knowledge technique isn’t linear or common

There are many sources that promise the one true path to creating an information technique. “Do these 5 issues and also you’ll change into a data-driven firm” or “These are the 5 steps to monetizing your knowledge” and so forth.

Examples of knowledge technique listicles from across the net

I want it was that easy.

Right here’s the painful reality that I’ve discovered from working numerous knowledge tasks: There’s nobody path to creating an information technique. Each firm is exclusive, each enterprise is exclusive, each business is exclusive, and so each firm’s path goes to be distinctive. Fairly than what different corporations have executed, the secret is analyzing your personal wants and prioritizing the perfect knowledge investments in your firm

How will you really know what it is best to prioritize? Many sources discuss specializing in tasks with the very best ROI (i.e. the return that these initiatives will deliver your organization).

Nevertheless, I imagine that that is the improper method to have a look at your knowledge technique. As a result of let’s face it, each knowledge particular person is aware of that your inputs and assumptions drive the ultimate output of your ROI calculation. I imagine that corporations shouldn’t prioritize knowledge tasks from an ROI lens, however as an alternative an “benefit” lens.

Which knowledge investments will enable you to construct sustainable aggressive benefits to outperform your opponents?

The Knowledge Benefit Matrix

The Knowledge Benefit Matrix may help you determine what sorts of knowledge benefits you wish to construct and the way far you wish to advance them.

Right here’s the way it works — the rows symbolize the kind of knowledge benefits that corporations can create, and the columns are the three phases for every of these benefits.

The Data Advantage Matrix by Atlan
The Knowledge Benefit Matrix

Let’s break this down, beginning with the 4 sorts of knowledge benefits:

  • Operational: That is about understanding the levers that drive what you are promoting, then utilizing them to enhance operations. A key facet is making knowledge out there and comprehensible to those that are making day by day choices. An instance is Gojek’s day by day updates about key metrics, which its first CEO Nadiem Makarim used to kind an intuitive sense of what was breaking.
  • Strategic: Each firm makes a number of important strategic choices every year. The extra data-driven these choices are, the extra seemingly that they are going to jumpstart progress or success. An instance is the Authorities of India utilizing geo-clustering to open 10,000 new LPG facilities.
  • Product: That is when corporations leverage knowledge to drive a core product benefit, one which separates them from opponents. An instance is Google’s “sensible compose” auto-completion function.
  • Enterprise alternative: This entails utilizing firm knowledge to seek out and create new enterprise alternatives. An instance is Netflix Originals, the place Netflix began to provide its personal TV reveals and flicks based mostly on its knowledge about what folks wish to watch.

I’ve already written about these 4 sorts of benefits, so try that article if you wish to be taught extra.

4 Types of Data Advantages
The 4 sorts of knowledge benefits

Subsequent, we’ve bought the three phases of every knowledge benefit:

  • Stage 1 (Fundamental): This can be a quick-and-dirty MVP that makes use of fundamental instruments (e.g. SAAS merchandise, Google Sheets, Zapier) and no knowledge specialists. I nearly at all times suggest that corporations begin new initiatives within the “Fundamental” tier to shortly deploy and assess an answer.
  • Stage 2 (Intermediate): This tier consists of investments in knowledge platform tooling and knowledge specialists or groups.
  • Stage 3 (Superior): These are best-in-class knowledge initiatives with specialised groups for every use case or undertaking. While you get to this tier, you’re principally a case research for what it means to be a data-driven firm.

Able to see this in motion? Let’s stroll by a few examples to see how two hypothetical corporations would use the Knowledge Benefit Matrix to set their knowledge technique.

Instance #1: Utilizing the matrix to prioritize knowledge initiatives for a SAAS software program startup

The Data Advantage Matrix for a hypothetical SAAS software startup by Atlan
Instance Knowledge Benefit Matrix for a SAAS software program startup

For SAAS corporations, the funnel is every part. Optimizing metrics at each stage of the funnel is what accelerates SAAS corporations from common to exponential progress. So for any SAAS founder, in case you don’t have fundamental operational analytics arrange on day one, you’re in all probability doing one thing improper.

This fictional SAAS startup would begin on the high left of the matrix with fundamental operational analytics. These analytics don’t need to be sophisticated. At Stage 1, it’s all about getting the fundamentals proper — measuring the variety of leads per day, customers changing on the positioning, customers signing up on the product, free trials that find yourself paying, and so forth.

Given the significance of operational analytics, it will make sense for this startup to maneuver to Stage 2 fairly shortly — changing its fundamental analytics into one thing extra scalable like a centralized intelligence engine. This would come with investing in an information warehouse (like Redshift or Snowflake) that brings all knowledge into one place, including a BI device, and hiring the primary analysts to drive data-driven choices the place it issues most (like advertising or SalesOps).

At this level, with operations sorted, the startup can begin excited about different points of the enterprise:

  • To drive outbound gross sales, it might probably put money into constructing a moat towards opponents, like a lead-scoring algorithm to assist gross sales reps deal with the perfect leads.
  • It may transfer again to its core benefit, operational analytics, and make that tremendous data-driven and democratized.
  • It may even deal with a brand new benefit, like making a dashboard inside its product to upsell clients.

Instance #2: Prioritizing knowledge initiatives for a cab aggregator

The Data Advantage Matrix for a hypothetical cab aggregator by Atlan
Instance Knowledge Benefit Matrix for a cab aggregator startup

Let’s tackle one other instance, a cab aggregation startup.

This can be a utterly completely different state of affairs as a result of a cab firm’s whole product is determined by balancing provide and demand. If clients can’t discover a cab, they received’t discover worth within the cab firm.

That’s why a cab aggregator would begin in a distinct place from a SAAS firm — a product benefit. It could first put money into constructing a supply-demand matching algorithm, so its third or fourth rent would must be a robust knowledge scientist to construct correct tooling and make its algorithm a aggressive benefit on day one.

Subsequent, it’d make sense for the corporate to construct fundamental operational reporting on one thing like Excel. Then it’d make sense for the corporate to tackle strategic questions like tips on how to broaden from one metropolis to 10 cities. Since this can be a important query, it may once more skip to Stage 2 — investing in an information scientist to construct a correct geo-clustering algorithm.

Alongside the best way, the cab startup would seemingly wish to improve its supply-demand matching algorithm and construct a robust staff and best-in-class knowledge system, making this a sophisticated knowledge benefit.

Utilizing the Knowledge Benefit Matrix in your firm

So what ought to the Knowledge Benefit Matrix appear to be in your firm?

Begin by excited about what you need your aggressive benefit to be. What is going to allow you to out-execute your opponents? 

Listing all the knowledge benefits which you could construct into what you are promoting, after which take into consideration which you wish to tackle. Does it make sense to deal with upgrading your core benefit, or is it higher to launch “fundamental” knowledge initiatives throughout different sorts of knowledge benefits?

There isn’t a easy path to prioritizing your knowledge investments. For instance, two related SAAS startups would possibly take completely different approaches to construct their knowledge technique and staff. When you concentrate on prioritizing attainable initiatives, begin with three elementary questions:

  • What sort of knowledge benefit will this create?
  • How may this initiative affect our firm?
  • How a lot effort will it take for us to get there?

Notice that knowledge benefits don’t at all times have to begin at Stage 1. Just like the cab aggregator, it’d make sense to begin at Stage 2 if an information benefit is important to your organization and may be constructed on correct tooling from the beginning. When you can begin with one thing fast and soiled, work out precisely what you want, after which improve over time, begin at Stage 1 with an MVP — which is what I often suggest.

Wanting again on lots of of knowledge tasks

In my expertise working with knowledge leaders on over 200 knowledge tasks, I’ve discovered is that there’s nobody linear path to creating an information technique in your firm. The one factor that’s paramount is to begin with first rules.

Keep in mind that what you are promoting is exclusive, and so the info moats and benefits that you simply create for your self can be distinctive from each different firm on the earth.

When you concentrate on discovering your knowledge technique, begin on the fundamentals. Take into account the different sorts and ranges of benefits that you could possibly construct, begin with the bottom hanging fruit that may create a significant affect, and simply preserve iterating from there.

As you embark on creating these knowledge initiatives, bear in mind to construct the best basis. Don’t overlook to put money into the info instruments you want, and arrange a trendy knowledge platform everytime you hit Stage 2. Knowledge entry and collaboration are optionally available at Stage 2, however undoubtedly be sure to determine them out by Stage 3.

The building blocks of the modern data platform.
The constructing blocks of the trendy knowledge platform. Learn extra.

Good luck together with your journey, and drop a remark when you have any questions!


This text was initially revealed on In direction of Knowledge Science.

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