Data Strategy (case study)

Data strategy pursuing offense and defense – insights from PMI’s journey towards a data-driven enterprise

Data strategy pursuing offense and defense – insights from PMI’s journey towards a data-driven enterprise

A new CC CDQ work report summarizes PMI’s journey towards a data-driven enterprise and illustrates how offensive and defensive aspects of a data strategy work hand-in-hand.

PMI is fundamentally transforming its business model and product portfolio towards creating a “smoke-free future” by offering better alternatives to the consumer in the form of smoke-free products. At the core of PMI’s business transformation is data. The case study report outlines how PMI established an Enterprise Analytics & Data (EAD) function based on two major pillars (Data Governance and Data Science), with the goal to create a data foundation and generate business value through actionable, data-based insights. Within less than two years, PMI has made substantial progress in this endeavor, and can serve as an inspiration for other companies.  

"We continuously communicate the story of a data-driven company. Such a company accelerates its decisions through data-driven insights. […] We need internal data scientist capabilities which enable us to experiment with any datasets in any kind of format, and develop algorithms that bring the best actionable insights. Even if we have these capabilities, we need to have a solid data foundation. Therefore, we need data governance for all types of data"
Alice Vaskova, Director, Program Management Office in PMI’s EAD team, April 2018

After illustrating PMI’s initial situation, the report documents the efforts the company has undertaken to become a data-driven enterprise. It outlines the organizational and structural changes PMI had made until mid-2018, and how PMI has leveraged state-of-the-art technology to reach its goals. Finally, PMI’s activities are considered in light of relevant academic concepts (mainly the CC CDQ’s Data Excellence Model), and lessons learned from the case study are presented.

The case study provides interesting insights and can inspire other companies that aim at becoming data-driven enterprises:

  • The radical shift in PMI’s business strategy towards creating a smoke-free future, together with the transformation from business-to-business to business-to-consumer sales channels, has required PMI to rethink how it uses and manages data across the company.
  • PMI’s approach is exemplary of a dual data strategy combining offensive and defensive elements. It uses data-driven insights as the “carrot” illustrating data’s business value, and data governance as the “stick” ensuring an adequate data foundation.
  • With the creation of EAD, PMI has initiated a long-term process to establish enterprise-wide data and analytics capabilities. EAD acts as one of the drivers of PMI’s transformation and pursues the goal of disrupting and changing the way people at PMI think about and use data. To implement the vision of a data-driven enterprise, PMI follows a clear path and roadmap, focusing on Data Management, Data Architecture, Data Science as well as a Project Management Office in the first 18 months.
  • Notwithstanding the achievements of EAD so far, developing both data foundation and data-driven insights requires time, commitment and a cultural change in the organization. PMI expects its journey to take over several years. As a consequence, its approach needs to be adaptive to allow for continuous improvement.

The detailed case study is accessible for CC CDQ members in the CC CDQ knowledge base.

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