3 steps to manage transformation using data integration 

At all levels of an organization, transformation takes place. Business Transformation, Digital Transformation, and Data Transformation are common terms around the respective executive, managerial, and technology teams these days. In most cases, transformation is complex and multifaceted, and shouldn’t be seen as a single entity or project.

To execute transformation, you can face the complexity head-on with a few high-level steps to manage them better: 

digital transformation

1. Identify the need for transformation

Like any self-help process, the first step is to identify the need and areas where transformation is necessary. To do this, a regular check-in could be helpful. During the check-ins, these questions could serve as a guide: 

  • What issues are your organization, team or process having? 
  • What changes are coming in the next weeks or months? 
  • How do the issues or changes relate to each other? 
  • What can be done to address or prepare for them now? 

The proper identification for transformation happens in the present. It is the immediate acknowledgement that “This is happening, and we need to make a change for it.” 


2. Define the workflow

In 2012, I was on a project in Taipei, Taiwan to transfer a six-month release process to our dedicated counterparts in the APAC region. While there, a colleague would occasionally suggest: “Define the workflow”, a mantra which sticks with me today. 

Diagramming the appropriate process for executing a transformation is a crucial step. Some transformations require quick execution with few interactions with other systems, stakeholders, or budgets. However, other (most) transformations are complex, slow, or both. “Defining the workflow” could be whiteboard sessions or a shared flowchart to layout and associate the different processes required by the various types of transformation. Creating this visual often leads to exposure of blind-spots, quick wins, potential cost savings, and additional insights. 

3. Understand transformation integration

To manage a transformation successfully, the point-person must be aware of the types required for each integrated transformation. The potential for slow or out-of-control transformations is high, so understanding interdependencies and connections is critical to keep the transformation on-track and budgets in check. This also applies to other transformations happening in parallel, which may not be using the same methods or services. 

Having a finger on the pulse of transformation interactions enables a manager to see potential disruptions early. For example, if chip manufacturing puts a crimp on hardware accessibility via supply constraints, the adjacent sprinted software development team needs to be aware their deployment could be delayed by months. While this is no doubt undesirable for the project, a big picture view of the transformation integrations may enable the software team to pivot or enhance their release by providing more stable and secure code, more innovative enhancements, and potentially higher-value applications. 

Within Abley’s Digital Engineering team, Data Transformation is the force majeure. Our data integration specialists have vast and varied experience with transformation to unlock the value of data. We can diagram solutions, understand the interdependencies of multiple systems, and communicate this information and benefits directly to you, our clients. 

Where we need your help is with identifying the need for transformation within your organization. Common conversations may include: 

  • Vast amounts and inputs of data, but unsure how to connect it all 
  • Dependency on expensive data suppliers, but a less-expensive source is known 
  • Connecting one system to another system, such as a Customer Resource Management (CRM) API to Asset Management system or GIS database using FME 


If you think you have a transformation on your hands and would like to know more, please contact us today. 

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