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Being data centric with business model canvases

By September 17th, 2020No Comments

Creating a data centric business.

Ok this is a viewpoint not a manifesto, is it just me or when businesses use a ‘strategic canvas’ do they really consider data and the importance of being data centric? This is one of a couple of posts which will focus on the importance of data centricity. You may be customer centric but you should also be data centric.

So let’s start by looking at a canvas since that’s a good workable visual aid.

It seems there’s a canvas for most things these days, but like most things they tend to be stand alone. If you’ve ever used any of these in anger they usually solve just one part of the puzzle of your business or they are very high level, you then need to stitch some together or use another tool to move to action a team.

Like most consultancy’s or businesses running innovation workshops or strategy projects, we’d used Alexander Osterwald’s Business Model Canvas and Ash Maurya’s Lean Canvas which are truly awesome – fast, concise, and very portable, but we found ourselves modifying them for the needs of the client we were working with, especially when we started asking questions about data and what to do next.

Over the last few years data has become the hot topic in any strategy or directive, no matter the size of the business, start-up or blue chip, data is critical.

I know, data’s boring, but you only have to look at those businesses that are outpacing their competitors to understand that not only does data ensure you’re aligned to continually changing customer needs and expectations (customer centricity) but also that you place your money and resources in the right places and add competitive advantage in terms of potentially becoming the disruptor rather than the disrupted.

Data gives you the edge, it’s the river that runs through your business, multiple feeds from multiple sources creating insights on which to base critical decisions.

The issues are the same no matter what business we worked with, being able to move down in terms of detail from any model or framework is essential. When talking to senior people you need simplicity, but instances where you want to move quickly to action a team you need the considered detail which all of the team have been a party too.

data centric

Data centric canvas

The Data Centric Canvas

What you see above is a high level data centric canvas with the defining areas covered within each section. Each of those sections has its own sub canvas which exposes the devil in the detail (more about those sub canvases in a follow up post).

Please understand this is not just business modelling, it’s taking it a step further to better understand what the business needs to consider as a whole when you want to action a new business model or innovative or disruptive approach.

Utilising the canvas with established businesses and start-ups we’ve honed this data centric version which ensures a business doesn’t leave data to be a considered afterthought.

I’m not saying this canvas is the right canvas for you,  or your business, but feels right to share something we’ve been using and which we know works. It does mean you have a more detailed roadmap for your team when it comes to needing a more detailed roadmap that retains some simplicity at a high level when presenting upwards.

If you want to know more about how the canvas works email me as it’s part of our Data Driven Growth Accelerator service, or look out for the next post in this series.

What canvases do you use in your workshops and at what point does data enter the discussions?


Author peterjabraham

@peterjabraham - Inquisitor and CO_FOUNDER we are Crank, AUTHOR Building the Agile Business through Digital Transformation

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