You have a lot of data, even more than you think, and you want to use that data for creating insights and acting on those insights. But do you not know where to start? Or do you think the initial investment is too large or risky? You may think it will take a long time to profit from the data. From our experience we know that it is possible to benefit from your data within six months, especially for SMEs. Our recent success was helping a Healthcare SME, who provides services for mentally ill patients and their therapists, where we built a digital platform (Analytics Functional Datawarehouse). In this article we share our strategy for that success.

“Working with Amsterdam Data Collective felt professional, effective, trusted and enjoyable from the start. We are very grateful to ADC for charting a path that suited us and setting up our own data warehouse within a short period of time. This is the flying start we hoped for, and thanks to the thorough knowledge transfer to our own team members, we are ready to grow further into a data-driven organisation!” – Client, Healthcare SME

Start Small Think big

For most clients we take the first step in the form of a design sprint. A design sprint to pave the path of becoming a data-driven organisation. We develop an intensive two-day design sprint, with the right stakeholders, to accelerate the thinking and support process. With the right people onboard, we start the journey. The advantage is that we get the know the organisation in a very short amount of time and that we can help think about the right data-driven strategy. Moreover, such a design sprint helps already to get the right people on board and to get more colleagues involved.

Building a Database that Suits the Organisation

For keeping things manageable customisation is key. Cloud software is readily available, but the default configurations are not suited. Configuring the database right that suits the organisation will result in an easy and efficient integration. You do not have to build a data lake if a small database suits already the purpose. Hence, it is important to know what you want to do with your data, so that the solution suits the goal.

Working Iteratively Adds Direct Value

Close collaboration in sprints with the client and working on concrete deliverables formats an iterative cycle that adds direct value. Also, with frequent participation and evaluation the deliverables and expectations remain synchronised. The iterative cycle is efficiently possible and adjustable using Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD). With CI/CD and Gitflow you are agile and in control. In this way, you can start with a small database with only a few tables and add attributes, tables and other sources in new sprints. Within two months, you can already start using the database for dashboards or data science models, while we add more data in the meantime. In this way, there is also an automated feedback loop that tells us if the solution is working and easy to work with.

Making the Strategy of the Organisation Data-Driven

Embrace a data strategy and embed it in your culture. This way the efforts become scalable. Invest in self-service dashboarding and self-service analytics, such that all teams can improve the performance, quality, and agility by using data. Define together for every team data-driven KPIs to monitor and steer on. We can help with that by showing what we build and where it can be used for.

With these four steps your SME is benefitting from data in only six months. The first steps to become data-driven are smaller than you think. Do you also want your organisation to become data-driven? Get in touch with Casper Rutjes at or check our contact page.