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Working on a consultancy project developing a marketing data & tech ecosystem which turned into an 80-slide deck, there were many steps taken before I got to the stage of building out the deck. The penultimate step was how do I collate all my ideas, and findings into a one page summary. The idea behind the one pager is to show concisely my understanding of the business requirements, and that it will be accepted by key stakeholders.

In one of our discovery sessions, I was taken through the business canvas as the business is looking to make significant changes to their operating model. It was the first time I was presented a business canvas; the information was precise, and it made perfect sense. With the business canvas widely used I thought why not create a data and tech canvas?

The consultancy project I was working on was part of a wider transformation with significant investment going into data & tech. If data & tech wants a seat at the table, it needs to talk the same business language that is currently used. Creating a data and tech canvas I believe was a good way to continue the conversation in the same language showing the role and value data & tech can play in the growth of the business.

What is the Data & Tech Canvas?  

The data & tech canvas is a strategic play for business who are looking to build out a data & tech ecosystem. The canvas is the initial building block to share your thoughts and get approval from key stakeholders.

The canvas is simplified in a one page summary with the required components that are needed when building out a data & tech ecosystem.

(Download Data & Tech Canvas)

There are 9 key components that build the data & tech canvas they play a big role in positioning and telling the right story in how a data & tech strategy can support and drive the business forward.

Why the Data & Tech Canvas?   

In most cases there is a huge gap in what the business requirements are, and what the chosen data & tech solution can provide. The canvas is there to ensure that internally and externally everyone is working towards the same business goals.

Building the Data & Tech Canvas

The canvas is built into 9 key components split into 4 categories.

The core

Is built around:

  • Business Objectives
  • Business & Marketing Challenges
  • Business & Marketing Requirements

When building and recommending a solution it needs to be built around the core. The ecosystem should be tied back to these 3 at every stage that must be the focal point to ensure it can deliver the business objectives and get approval.

The data approach  

Is built around:

  • Data Requirements
  • Data & Tech Partners

These are the pillars to building the data & tech ecosystem. Having a comprehensive understanding of the business (The Core) will help outline the data & tech ecosystem and its requirements internally and externally.

The journey

Is built around:

  • Costs
  • Timelines

Understanding the costs are important in a project of this size it will help push the project along for approval. As important are the timelines of what can be delivered.


Is built around:

  • Strengths
  • Weakness

Sharing the strengths and the weakness are critical to understand what can be realistically achieved against the business objectives (The Core) and help manage expectations.

When to use the Data & Tech Canvas

The canvas should be used to share your collective thoughts with key stakeholders to get an approval before you start creating a full deck, proposition, and plan.

Another way to look at it, if you struggle to share your thoughts on the canvas then you will struggle to sell the vision and dream.