We are about to discover a new continent of customer data and it will soon be available for us to use. The vastness that lies before us can only be tapped if we build roads that we can move along. Roads only make sense if we have a target to aim at. Targets and roads must be established before our new continent is buried underneath sprawling jungle; the likes of which it is a pain to struggle through.

The new continent therefore needs leadership, to ensure that roads and targets and rules are planned for the benefit of all. In order to use customer data as a basis, every business needs definitions, procedures, rules and standards to organize the data. Data needs a reference and this can only be a success with customers as it is a source of capital flow. How can I technically define a customer? What is a new customer? What is a regular customer? How precisely can we describe an economic success case? What does customer loyalty mean for us? Simple concepts soon reach their limits when you put them into operation. This is why they weren’t around in the past.

On the other hand, we do not want to smother our continent in bureaucracy. The rules must be confined to human proportions and they must be easy and practical to apply. They need to be elastic enough to adapt to changing conditions. Their quality should be measurable and easily to understand. To reduce complexity, we need data leadership. Someone has to set the path, the target and the traffic rules, once and for all, and this person cannot and will not be from IT.