Formulating the ideal data strategy

data strategy

For the past few months, we have been espousing the benefits of data analytics for different industries like aviation, healthcare and marketing. But, are organisations making the most of their data analytics? Research shows that while there is some progress, there is still much work to be done in incorporating data into company operations. One reason for this lack of integration is the lack of planning from the organisation. Put simply, organisations need a thorough, comprehensive data strategy to properly integrate analytics into their operations. In this blog post, we take a look at how to formulate a winning data strategy and how to implement it.

What do we mean by data strategy?

First, what do we mean by data strategy? It is a multifaceted plan that covers how organisations will use data in company operations. It is not just about identifying key metrics or creating reports. It is also about integrating data into different facets of the company. A data strategy provides insight into how organisations look at their data analytics capabilities.

A comprehensive data strategy helps businesses understand what their data can do for them, why certain trends are happening and how to optimise these trends to increase revenue. These strategies are usually endorsed by high-level management because they provide a new direction for the organisation.

What are the essential factors of a data strategy?

To formulate a strong data strategy, organisations need to devise a strategy that is closely aligned with their overall strategy, must be flexible and have the ability to assess different aspects of the organisation. Strategies must be tied to organisational goals because they have to potentially transform the organisation’s business model, increase profit levels and drive growth.

A well-designed data strategy does not focus on one or two KPIs – it covers different dimensions related to security, compliance and governance. It allows organisations to make the most of business intelligence software, and pave the way for the future. Furthermore, data strategies must be nimble and flexible, so that they can be periodically reviewed to accommodate changes in the market, and within the business. While this is by no means a comprehensive list, the best data strategists clearly define their strategy in the following areas: data content, security, licensing, internal communication, quality and performance.

How is the strategy implemented?

Some organisations create a detailed data strategy, but often do not implement these plans due to a lack of planning. Hence, implementation is also a huge part of strategy formation. So how does one create a suitable method for implementing the strategy? By detailing a roadmap. A roadmap is a commonly used term in the world of IT – it is used by developers to show customers what new features and updates are coming down the road. In the world of data analytics, a roadmap means turning the strategy into an actionable plan. An analytics roadmap creates this kind of framework and allows organisations to evaluate the value of strategic initiatives. With an analytics roadmap, organisations are forced to look into how each day goes into implementing the strategy.

The roadmap allows the organisation to convert abstract goals into skills needed, types of people to hire and a specific timeframe. A roadmap converts large structure altering goals into actionable bite-sized activities. Every organisation needs to have a roadmap because data analytics is a technology that requires the entire organisation to be mobilised, and the roadmap helps in this matter. To create a data strategy, organisations need to work with a third-party expert – working with such an expert means a pair of fresh eyes and a more objective opinion on current practices. It is also just as important to get a third-party who is an expert in data analytics to provide the best data strategy available.

Moving forward with data analytics

A data strategy is vital for converting data analytics into a business asset and, without a proper plan, it is impossible to take the next step in analytics and that’s working with data analytics specialists. Such specialists can provide several helpful services like administration, hosting and installation – helping firms take their data analytics strategy to the next level. The right group of consultants can help make the strategy and roadmap a reality, at a smoother, more efficient process than ever before.

At the end of the day, it is important to have the right data strategy in place, otherwise, organisations will not be able to realise the full benefits of their data analytics platforms.

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