Data Thinking: Unlocking the Full Potential of your Data
November 3, 2021 09:00

“The World economic forum” estimated that the amount of data created in the world was of 44 zettabytes at the end of 2020, people created 1.7 MB of data every second. Knowing how much data is generated is meaningless unless we understand how to utilize it. Data is the new oil of the digital era and just like oil, data has little worth on its own. Instead, what's most important is what you can do with the information you gain from it.  

With the amount of data available and the rate at which new data is being produced, utilizing it properly has enormous potential for Thales. In the same way that oil was the fuel that drove the economic growth in the 20th century, data will be the catalyst to drive the economic growth in the 21st century. 

Technology and data have altered the world in record time and keeping up with the fast pace of the digital transformation while also taking control of internal digital development, is an ongoing struggle. However, what if we explored a new way of utilizing these vast amounts of data and acquiring and mastering new skills, routines that will embrace digitalization? 

At Thales, an ideation approach has been developed, which combines innovation concepts with data practices. We call it data thinking. 

What is data thinking? 

Data thinking is the starting point for all digital developments and the first skill needed in becoming a digital leader. It empowers firms to benefit from data, use it as a business resource and transform into a data-driven enterprise. The method provides a clear picture of what's going on in the world and where the business fits in. In addition, is a highly iterative and cost-effective data science approach that gathers fast feedback directly from the user and continuously tests, analyzes and optimizes potential solutions and hypotheses. 

Thibault Levray, Thales Group Data Value Manager, in charge of defining the group-level data valorization roadmap, explains how this concept works:  

“The data thinking approach consists in a one-day workshop with data scientists to understand your data ecosystem and co-identify data-driven and user-centric solutions.  

It’s a 3-step process:   

  1. Identify and understand your internal and external data landscape provide us a good visibility of your data for an impactful workshop. Clear visibility on the data landscape, meaning a perfect knowledge of the available data and the data to acquire, is essential to generate data-based insights. 
  2. Identifying data use cases meeting your business objectives and pains during a set of ideation activities.  
  3. Assessing the value & the technical feasibility of the identified use cases to prioritize them” 

Finally, a report outlining and evaluating the discovered data use cases that will then be used by a data science team to generate value.  

The use of agile and creative methodologies enables the multidisciplinary interaction of workers, technology and processes to be adjusted, which has had an impact in the team's culture. Thales goes beyond the fundamentals by adopting this approach that bridges the gap between innovation, strategy, and the operational business units. It allows to pick up on relevant factors outside of the organization, enables employees to learn new methods, routines, and skills, and most of all, it gives a competitive edge by working smarter and faster.

This methodology is fully integrated in their data strategic plan, and it’s considered as an accelerator of the data transformation. 

Data Thinking workshops have already been successfully led with dozens of businesses, both within Thales and with our customers or partners, helping identify hundreds of data use-cases, unlocking their data’s full potential.  

Data Thinking: Unlocking the Full Potential of your Data