Data Eats Strategy for Lunch
Someone mentioned last week that there is no such thing as just a Data Strategy and to some extent that is true. Data Strategy, in my words, is the blueprint on how a business uses it’s data as an asset in all aspects of its operations to be able to meet its organizational goals and business strategy. Data-Driven has become the latest fad and buzz word in today’s world. However, few organizations have taken a holistic approach to figuring out what it all means and what steps it needs to take to actually become data-driven or use data to drive it’s organiational wide strategic goals.
There are several components to having an end to end sustainable and scalable Data Strategy for the long term. It’s about executive sponsorship, technology and tools, governance, adherence to standards and adoption by the users. One without the other will result in a very short-lived and failed data strategy.
- Business and IT need to work together to ensure that data and technology are aligned with the objectives and goals of the organization.
- Data has to be standardized in terms of definitions, measurements, quality, storage, and security to get started. We need to consider data coming from different sources outside the organization (both structured and unstructured) and how it will be integrated and used.
- Users need to be made aware of the new data strategy, retrained into how to use data, what is the “one source of truth”, what the metrics and KPIs are, how they are measured and used to meet the objectives of the organization. Using data with issues or using the wrong measurements will result in wrong insights and conclusions.
- Governance has to ensure that the data standards are in place and the organization as a whole is adhering to them.
- Users need to be reminded on adopting and adhering to these new standards on a regular basis.
- If there are data issues then business and IT needs to be disciplined to ensure that these are resolved in a timely manner.
Governance, Adherence, and Adoption to data standards, quality, security, and usage have to become a daily ritual at an organization just like the “Daily Stand Up’ Scrum Meetings.
By: Shaema Talib