SPR was approached by the CIO of a Chicago-based consulting firm to build out a data platform. The core platform was to be built in-house by the IT team, while our role was to make the platform accessible and usable by other business units within the firm by centralizing data assets using a common architecture across each unit.
The separation of business units (BU) was a key driver for the project. With 14 different BUs divided by focus—for instance, health care, government, private sector, etc., each had its own so-called knowledge management system and data handling capabilities. This meant that data was fragmented and stored in disparate, disconnected silos, where there was no governance or cross-department communication, and valuable insights were not being derived.
It was our goal to centralize the data in a single platform in order to standardize data quality, integrity, and security, and make it more seamless across the company, thus allowing for more consistent insights.
Guiding the project was a set of business use cases that provided clear expectations of functional and nonfunctional requirements that would help to drive platform adoption across the company. We realized if we built the platform in its entirety, it’d be such a beast that no one would want to touch it. Hence, the pilot phase.
After initial conversations with the CIO, and reviewing the knowledge management systems, data ecosystem, and business use cases, our team identified the top three business units to launch the pilot, with intent to eventually onboard all units.