Shifting the data culture at Spotless

How Proof of Values can facilitate a data-driven strategy

“I love the Proof of Value approach to which our subsequent strategy is completely aligned”

Derek Del Novo,

Business Insights & Data Analytics Manager


About Spotless

  • Spotless provide integrated facilities services, and specialise in hard and soft Facilities Management, Cleaning, Catering, Security, Laundries and Utilities. 
  • Over 36,000 employees across Australia and New Zealand
  • ~ $3,000m annual revenue


The innovation team saw the opportunity for Spotless to become a data-driven business. With organisational effort being spent on producing manual reports and insights they needed assistance in outlining the opportunity and shifting the culture.


Proving the value of three core business projects provided the impetus for a new data analytics function.  Subsequent mentoring guided the definition of the data analytics strategy.


It is funny how you start realising the breadth of an organisation once you engage with them and start recognising the potential that an industry has from a data and analytics perspective, once you delve into it.  Spotless provides integrated facilities services to a variety of industries, and specialises in hard and soft Facilities Management, Cleaning, Catering, Security, Laundries and Utilities. 

One only needs to look around the facility Spotless themselves reside in, to see the amount of data points available.  Yet having data and doing something with it are two very different things.

“We have heaps of data and very little capability to glean insight from it.”

Derek Del Novo, Business Insights & Data Analytics Manager

To the innovation team at Spotless is was apparent that one of the biggest hurdles in realising their strategy for data and analytics would be the required shift in culture, and to prove the value that data could provide across various aspects of business operations.

Core goals of the Spotless Business Insights & Data Analytics function 


In keeping with the proven Ignite Data Proof of Value approach, the first step was to get people excited about what could be achieved.  A cross-organisation ideation session, leveraging design thinking techniques, produced a starting catalogue of business ideas that could be linked directly to the Spotless business plan.  These were then quickly evaluated and prioritised based on perceived value and feasibility.

Data, on its own, does not mean anything. Organisations must figure out the clever questions to ask.

A resulting shortlist of concepts in the Facilities Management, Asset Management domain provided the Spotless Innovation team and Ignite Data Scientists the starting point for hypothesis development leveraging the Spotless data. 

Three concepts ranging from Bid Management to Predicting Failures to Contractor performance were proven to have tangible value, two of which are now being pursued for early implementation. 

The key to success was to quickly understand the business operations, the data, and the potential change impact. Of course, having the ability to tell the story and not just talk about the modelling technique used was paramount.

“We used the Ignite Proof of Value engagement model for data scientists to hack a problem, Michael was extremely capable with an exceptional professional demeanour, able to communicate with both technical and business people.”

Derek Del Novo, Business Insights & Data Analytics Manager


When asked about some of the key lessons learned, it was highlighted that focusing on the business value rather than the technical architecture was key.

“Work from a business value perspective not a technical architecture. Technical architecture will necessarily follow when you’ve nailed the business value”

Derek Del Novo, Business Insights & Data Analytics Manager

The first step in the culture shift was to get people on board with the idea that better use of data could provide tangible return.  This was not achieved through the glitz and glamour of big data or Artificial Intelligence - it was achieved through analysing data that was already present and opportunities already in minds of employees.  

As with many Proof of Values, these concepts have highlighted gaps in process and data governance and provided further learnings for Derek and his team to implement as part of the Business Insights strategy at Spotless.  It is hard to ignore the facts and that is the beauty of focusing on the business value first.

Reach out for more information on the Spotless and Ignite partnership or to discuss how Proof of Values can shift your organisation’s data and analytics culture

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