I agree with Jim. Walmart has an unrelenting focus on data and is arguably a great company. However, the Walmart example is the exception and not the rule. Go into any leading strategy consulting company and ask the rank and file consultant what the bane of his/her existence is .... it's the lack of data at clients!
The focus, effort and budget necessary to collect good data are not immaterial. Below are the components necessary for a good, closed loop data strategy. Falling short on any of them torpedoes the whole effort:
- identify what data is important to decision making
- collect the important data
- analyze the data to produce information
- use this information in decision making
It all comes down to leadership. Unless the CEO and leadership team are the ones pushing the unrelenting focus on the data, a data strategy probably isn't going to be a very successful effort. It can't be a bottoms up effort.