Digital for all now

#Digitalcompanies: What sort of data player are you?

Econocom 7 Nov 2016

Where data collection, exploitation and security is concerned, is your company leading-edge, play-safe, bold or indifferent? By interviewing over 400 decision-makers, Econocom, Sia Partners and Ifop analysed the data practices of 329 large French companies with over 500 employees and identified four main profiles of “data player.”


Data from the second edition of the Barometer of Digital Practices of large French companies.



the data (R)evolution in large organisations


Data is perceived as one of the key issues of the digital revolution; and yet very few really addressed this challenge in 2016. Only 5 of the 400 companies interviewed had a data maturity score of 8 or more out of 10 (the scoring method involved allocating 1 point for each data-related practice for all the relevant areas, then calculating a score out of 10). The reason for this is complexity, be it technical (tools), organisational (IT agility) or human (skills).


“10% of companies saw themselves as very advanced in data processing and analysis in 2016.”


The survey of data practices revealed four main profiles: Leading-edge, Bold, Play-safe and Indifferent. This classification is based on a statistical analysis whereby companies with similar practices, and specifically, in terms of their degree of maturity in the two main areas, are grouped together: Collecting and exploiting data: sources and types of data collected, stage of advancement in terms of collection, quality and processing/analysis of data, use of available data (prediction, etc.).

Data security: stage of advancement in terms of data security, data storage location, privacy policy, security tests.



Leading-edge companies came out as precursors of the data revolution, advanced in data security and data exploitation. These are predominant in the Engineering/Consulting, Telecoms/Media and Banking & Insurance sectors.

Whilst Bold companies are mainly interested in exploring the potential of data, particularly to improve the customer experience, the Play-safe ones – predominant in the public sector – focus on security. Lastly, Indifferent companies don’t see data as a priority: they don’t have the required technical resources or are affected by a lack of agility in their company or IT system. These companies are mainly to be found in the manufacturing industry.



Chief data officer: the high priest of security… but not yet disruptive


Almost a third (32%) of large French companies have implemented governance for data-related matters by hiring a Chief Data Officer (85% of Leading-edge, 32% of Bold, 23% of Play-safe and 9% of Indifferent).


“In 2016, security was the only aspect that was widely adopted by companies. Large organisations tend to have a defensive position, favouring preservation over disruption.”


The role of the Chief Data Officer is restricted mainly to the security, quality and storage of data – which involves focusing on preserving data rather than exploiting it for innovation purposes.



Les disrupteurs de la data semblent donc marginaux, sauf dans les télécoms/medias où 79% des CDO ont pour mission de favoriser la création de nouveaux business models, et 71% de trouver de nouvelles façons de monétiser la donnée.


Retail : plus d’indifférents que d’avant-gardistes ou d’audacieux


The “data disruptors” are in the minority, apart from in telecoms/medias, where 79% of CDOs aim to facilitate the creation of new business models and 71% are looking for new ways to monetise data.


Retail: more Indifferent than Leading-edge or Bold


Breakdown of Data Players by industry sector



In the retail and FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) sectors, Indifferent companies are prevalent (33%), followed by Play-safe (28%). Leading-edge and Bold only account for 20% of companies in this industry.


And yet data can be a key driver for the customer experience. Case in point: Klépierre, the European leader in shopping centres, has deployed a series of apps and beacons  in order to offer a quality, personalised shopping experience. Customers who agree to be listed in their database receive targeted communications to match their profile. They can also log onto the shopping centres’ Wi-Fi via a Facebook Connect button, so that the physical data (i.e. what the customer does in the shopping centre) can be combined with their social media activity so they can offer more personalised, targeted content.


-> Also on our blog: Retail: apps, beacons: at Klepierre, the customer experience is also digital


Another example: Rossignol. At the beginning of 2016, the French ski equipment company developed a sensor that goes inside the strap of a ski boot. The aim is to collect detailed information on customers’ sporting habits and thus “convert all this data into business” by incorporating it into their CRM program.


-> Also on our blog: With its connected ski offering, Rossignol innovates with big data


In the States, meanwhile, the data champion is Walmart: the retail giant analyses over de 2.5 petabytes of data an hour in an attempt to anticipate the needs of its 250 million weekly customers and optimise the supply chain. To do this, the group’s data scientists understand the importance of real-time communication to reduce response times and alert staff in the field, which in turn enables the brand to stand out from the competition by offering a rewarding, innovative customer experience.


-> Also on our blog: How Walmart is innovating with big data

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