Building a data-driven culture and system for success 

Empowering the right people to make the right decisions.

In late 2017, Tabcorp completed its $11 billion merger with the Tatts Group making it one of the few integrated entertainment and gambling companies in the world.

While the merge alone was expected to generate at least $130 million in synergies, Tabcorp knew that the effective amalgamation of data assets would be central to their ongoing success and performance.

Tabcorp turned to GWI to develop a solution that would re-envision how they manage data, enable them to establish a single source of truth and build better business intelligence.

The smart way forward

As a discipline that coordinates all data management efforts, data governance provides a foundation for future success and a mechanism for achieving data goals.

If we think about it within a strategic context, a company’s overarching strategy and vision drives and informs the data governance framework, while the framework itself (when applied through an operating model) enables the strategy. So, for organisations to be truly ‘data-driven’ and translate big data into big insights, the two must co-exist.

With this in mind we set about developing a fit-for-purpose operating model that, over time, will increase the value of information Tabcorp relies upon to make good decisions every day.

Addressing the human side of data

Following a detailed analysis of existing strategies alongside industry best practice, we worked closely with people across the organisation to better understand data maturity levels and pain points, talking less about governance and more about solving problems.

Shifting the focus provided assurance that data governance would create real and tangible value — not unnecessary complexity — and from these conversations, valuable insights and some common challenges
emerged.

Deciding how to decide

To address the pain points, we started by building understanding around data decision rights and assigning responsibilities that would empower the right people to make the right decisions.

This resulted in the onboarding of 17 data custodians at a general manager level — responsible for the strategic management and use of data — and 45 data stewards across each of Tabcorp’s brands responsible for tactical delivery.

Together they serve as a team of data champions dedicated to building stronger data literacy and ensuring information flows effectively through the organisation.

Getting the balance right

As a long-standing Australian business with a reputation for doing the right thing and ‘entertainment with integrity’ at its heart, ensuring these sentiments are reflected in everything they do remains a constant priority for Tabcorp.

Operating within a highly regulated framework, getting the balance right when assigning decisions rights — in terms of both flexibility and control — was paramount to the project’s success and in protecting the interests of staff and equally customers.

A roadmap for success

Data management plans and a roadmap for each of the Tabcorp brands were also developed as part of the initiative. Looking through the lens of people, process and systems they provide a pathway forward that will significantly raise Tabcorp’s level of data maturity while being both realistic and actionable.

The result is a robust data governance framework and operating model that is helping Tabcorp to engage and mobilise its two most valuable assets — people and data.

Realising the benefits

Together, the data governance framework and operating model form the foundations for greater business intelligence capabilities (that would otherwise not be possible, like predicative analytics) while delivering significant operational efficiencies.

Yet above all, it speaks to the value Tabcorp places not only on data, but more importantly on building a culture that understands and values the role data plays in driving better decision making.

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