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Using Data to Positively Impact the Business & Make Key Decisions
Chief Data Officers are tasked with using data to positively impact the business, maximize value, and make key decisions across the supply chain.
Jan 3, 2022
Leonard Maganza, Chief Customer Officer at Syniti, talks with Kiran Kodali, Global Data Strategy & Governance Lead at Sanofi, on the CDO Magazine podcast series. Together, they discuss the key capabilities of data to positively impact the business, maximize value, and make key decisions across the supply chain. Kiran also shares how the data stakeholders are managed at Sanofi by facilitating key elements such as a data strategy framework and an operating model.
The Function of the Data Office
With a diverse, global organization like Sanofi, managing the consumption of data while keeping everyone aligned and prioritized to the business is no easy task.
“Just within the Research and Development unit we have six functions, and each function has its own complexity,” says Kodali, “and when you try and stitch this together across global teams you can imagine the scale of that complexity.”
As a part of the Research & Development Data Office at Sanofi, Kodali and his team focus on building data capabilities that maximize the value of data available within the organization, while also bringing in data from external sources.
“We primarily act like a bridge across multiple functions within the organization and try to understand what type of data these functions generate,” explains Kodali. The team considers the primary purpose the generated data is being used for, what other use cases there could be for that data, and what roadblocks may be preventing that data from being shared across various business functions.
To help manage data and assign clear value, Kodali and his team also focus on access management, streamlining access to data by harmonizing data assets across the organization. With several point-to-point integrations, the Data Office is working to improve how to harmonize data accurately and build in a strategy for leveraging that data moving forward.
Measuring the Business Impact of Data
"The mission of the [Data] Office,” says Kodali, “is to maximize the value from data.” Data processes were traditionally built around a singular goal, generated and used exclusively for one, primary end-use, with no conservation for secondary purposes. “Our job now is to de-code why we are not able to share that data, what are the roadblocks keeping us from sharing that data.” Kodali explains.
For example, one of the team’s goals is using clinical study data for research purposes - but clinical and patient data is highly regulated. “For that reason,” Kodali says, “we need to understand, how can we push ourselves to the point that we are still compliant but yet unleashing some of the potential of what this data can do for the business?”
The team is able to measure the impact of this data in three ways:
1) Number of clinical studies able to be shared with the end-users
2) Total users accessing this data
3) Number of use cases that are using this data.
“Whether trying to build a data catalog or master data management, you should always be able to measure the end user’s usage and the value they get from using this data,” Kodali sums up.
Using a Data Strategy to Engage Stakeholders
Oftentimes, projects in automation or data quality can take time to realize their full value or generate a true return on investment, and we all know of stakeholder fatigue. To help manage expectations, Kodali and his team start with a data strategy to keep stakeholders engaged. First identifying who the primary stakeholders are and what their business role is (and what they actually do), the team puts together an engagement model on how to engage with them.
“Having a data strategy framework and an operating model are two key elements to get this journey started,” says Kodali. To take your data project beyond POC, it’s important to keep stakeholders involved throughout the journey, if not earlier. “We got the business SMEs on board with us from the very early stages, [and] explained them our vision as a Data Office,” he continues. “Getting that buy-in upfront has been really supportive for us throughout this journey.”
The data team at Sanofi then create a strategic organization body comprised of leadership from the various business to a Digital/IT function. “As a part of this operational model setup, we also did a baseline assessment to understand what level of maturity of where they were at,” Kodali explains. “It was important to understand where they stand so that we could tailor the solutions accordingly,” he says. In this way, end-users and stakeholders feel a greater sense of responsibility and accountability to contribute in a more effective way to the solution.