Data-driven working

Data-driven working

Do you make decisions based on your intuition, or based on hard data? Data-driven working is all about responding to the data. Computers can make decisions much better and faster than humans. You can use that advantage to enhance risk management, improve your marketing strategy or automate processes in your organization. But… computers requires exactly the right set of instructions to follow.

Data-driven working is all about responding to the data. First you make sure that your systems have the right data, and then you give them the right instructions so they can make the right decisions. When you put it like that, it doesn’t sound so complicated… but as always, it’s easier said than done.


Here are a few examples of how data-driven working can help you:

  • automate your purchasing process, based on sales figures
  • optimize logistics processes based on data about those processes that you have collected in recent years
  • predict which risks are associated with a new customer, based on data collected from your existing customer base.

When it comes to that last example, you might recall some recent mishaps in that area. When you build a system that has not been properly thought out, just a little bit of noise in the data can mean that completely wrong decisions are made. A good example was the SyRi anti-fraud system trialled by the Dutch government a few years ago, and the perfect example of the pitfalls to avoid in the field of data-driven working.

The basics of data-driven working: 5 steps to success:

Making the most of data-driven working is more than just technical implementation. Here, we describe the five steps to success, each of which needs to be taken care of if you want to implement data-driven working methods successfully.

  • Step 1: The data Make sure you know your data through and through. It is important that you know what your data means, how it relates to other datasets and whether the data is reliable. You also need to know where the data comes from and how it is used.
  • Step 2: Rules Your goal is to automate decision-making based on data, but how are those decisions made? There are various types of rules (e.g. integrity rules, derivation rules, exchange rules) that affect the data and also interact with each other. Which rules will you apply? And how do they interact with one another?
  • Step 3: Processes The whole reason for adopting data-driven working methods is to make a process better, faster, more reliable and/or cheaper. But in order to do that, you need to know exactly how your processes work. There cannot be any ‘black boxes’ – steps in the process where it’s impossible to say exactly what goes on.
  • Step 4: Organization Make sure that there are clear working procedures and clear lines of responsibility, and that everybody has the skills they need. Make sure that data is managed robustly and that you have the right people in the right positions. And be transparent about the system that you are creating (what is its purpose? what data does it use? how does it work?).
  • Step 5: Technology There are so many possible technical solutions. Which one you pick will depend entirely on your organization and your ambitions when it comes to data-driven working. Before you can achieve a good technical solution, you need to be able to tick off steps 1 to 4. So those are the first steps to think about, and then you can apply the knowledge you have picked up to select a suitable supplier or technical solution.

Want to read more about these five steps to success? Check out our blog post: The basics of data-driven working: 5 steps to success.

Getting started!

There are various ways to approach data-driven working. You can start off small, or dive right in at the deep end. Whatever you choose, it’s important first to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve through data-driven working. Which processes do you want to tackle, and why? What kind of results do you expect? And are there any other ways to achieve them? We’re happy to help you consider these questions. Feel free to contact us if you want to draw up a business case, or if you just want to discuss your ideas with an expert, without any obligation. We’ll be happy to share our expertise.

In practice

Many organizations don’t realize that they have actually been automating their data management for a long time already, and in many different ways. Automated decisions are inherent in every piece of software, which is part of a chain of decisions that (almost) nobody can control anymore. The continued expansion in data-driven working is unstoppable because the benefits are just too great. But data-driven automation also comes with risks.


AI systems are now available to ever more organizations, and their use is booming. In our experience, in order to contain the risks while maximizing the benefits, you need to keep full control as you move towards data-driven working.


We can provide references on request.

Modular Digital Transformation

Data-driven working is just one of the themes that we cover as part of our Modular Digital Transformation. It’s our way of making digital transformation clearer for everybody. The various modules give you a useful way into digital transformation within your organization. That means you can focus on a single subject of your choice.


And of course, you can also combine different modules. For example, take a look at Smart to the Cloud or Future-proof working. You can use each module as a complete programme, covering everything from start to finish. Or you can just focus on the aspects that are of interest to you. And of course you can customize too, because every organization is different.


Would you like to know more about how Modular Digital Transformation works, and what we can do for your organization in the field of data-driven working? Then why not get in touch? We’ll be happy to share our expertise.