The importance of a data-centric approach

Post by Christopher Smid

We at GANDT Ventures believe, that a data-centric approach should be at the heart of every business’s culture. Digitization has enabled us to acquire and analyze more data than ever before. Combined with Tableau we are able to create the necessary views, that assist us in finding suitable strategies for our clients. Furthermore, we are able to calculate and present the necessary KPIs that are needed to control the new set strategies and be able to determine their success.

However, the implementation and realization of such an approach aren’t always as easy as it sounds. Especially SMBs are having a tough time implementing this culture into their day to day business. Digitization not only enabled us to acquire data but has also overwhelmed many, due to the sheer amount of datasets stored. This has let many companies disregard their data-centric approach and continue to base their decision only on experience and intuition.

With the help of Tableau, we were able to combine multiple databases in one centralized Tool. The blending of different datasets has enabled us to achieve insights into current strategies, that weren’t possible before. We are able to control the necessary data, influence set strategies and base our decisions on the data presented.


The obstacle of data-centricity – Compley Data-centric setups

The truth is, that many business units have bought and are using a variety of products and services that are fitted to solve a specific need. However, these purchases are being made whilst ignoring the question as to where the data will be stored. Therefore many important KPIs are accumulated across multiple databases that are owned by third parties.

This leads to a situation where firms are not the owner of their own data and have given the authority to third parties. Christopher Smid

Each business unit works in different dashboards with different logins that are therefore provided to the C-Level for Reporting. On one hand, this setup is highly complex and confusing, because teams have to start to understand different dashboards and the knowledge transfer carries a high border. On the other hand, there is no connection between these data points to create new insights into the current strategies.

The dashboards and views being used by the teams are static and only provide one solution to the gathered dataset. Teams are not able to create new dashboards, view the data from a different perspective or combine the data with different datasets. This leads to a situation where firms are not the owner of their own data and have given the authority to third parties.

The barrier has come to high for firms to actively take a roll in their data management and has settled for minimal reporting.


Control vs. Influence of data sets

The magnitude of in-house reporting is limited to quarterly revenue reviews and the development of Google KPIs. The success of projects, products, and whole teams are only based on a handful of KPIs. However, when taking a look at all the given datasets, the narrated stories behind the reports are able to be so much bigger.

We have learned to control our data and look at the development over time. We have established, in most cases, that a higher number is usually a positive development and a lower number usually means trouble in paradise. However, the story is always being controlled by the communicator of the reporting and not the user.

The communicator controls the message of the numbers however the user should question the results. Christopher Smid


A story from a colleague

A few months back I had a chat with a colleague who told me an interesting story. One month he decided to send out three reports with the same view, but with three different stories. One story explained why these numbers are positive, the second one held a neutral position towards the development and the third one showed a negative development. After Management received all three Emails they came back with one question: “Why did you send me the report three times?”. All three stories were correct and correlated with the shown data. However, just because the communicator presents a certain story doesn’t mean that it represents the truth. He wanted the management to question the numbers and reports and look beyond what is shown. The communicator controls the message of the numbers however the user should question the results.

The management has learned to look at the reports and control if there is, in fact, a positive development. Data is only being used as a controlling point of view, to make sure that business is running smoothly. However, the data is able to do so much more.

We are able to influence the data in every aspect and use it as a carrier for decision making. When looking at a monthly report, don’t look for positive development. Look for the information that you can use to set a recommendation on how to proceed in the coming month.


These are questions that the data-centric approach can answer

  1. If the revenue from your PPC campaigns has gown up 10%, what did you do to achieve that and how can you build on that to make it 20% in the next month?
  2. If your monthly sales have dropped, take a closer look at the different revenue sources. How can you adjust non-performing sources and how can you support top-performing sources to achieve even more?
  3. If your Customer Retention Rate is decreasing over time, take a look at your current Customer Experience and User Journey setups, eventually, you will need to adjust said strategies.
  4. When building a Marketing Strategy for next year, control the necessary datasets and ask yourself how you can influence these numbers. Don’t focus on CRM Strategies if your rebuyer quota is high but you are not able to reach new customers.
  5. When reviewing your contribution margins, include your current marketing cost data to efficiently calculate your maximum Marketing Cost-Per-Order (CPO) allowed. Compare your max. CPO with your current CPO to efficiently analyze your current marketing efforts.



Learn from your data, adapt your strategies and processes, influence your data and repeat. Only when understanding the data, will you be able to use it as a carrier for decision making rather than control of your teams work.

To be able to implement a data-centric approach into your day to day process, you will need to be able to combine the datasets of every tool you use. Create your own datacenter and become the owner of the data that you create.

In the long run, you will only benefit if you combine century’s worth of industry knowledge with the necessary data to make data-driven decisions.

Simply book a free appointment to continue the conversation, and ask us questions about your business.