Not so long ago, only large businesses with the right resources had the unique opportunity to leverage data to their advantage. Modern developments in cloud computing have, however, given businesses of all sizes to use data as a strategic tool to make more informed decisions.
But accessing information is one thing. Understanding the value of data and unlocking its potential is another.
To do so efficiently, businesses need to develop comprehensive, practical data strategies.
What Are Data Strategies
A data strategy is a plan for how an organization intends to collect, store, and manage data to enable and inspire informed organizational goals.
No two data strategies will look the same. Still, you can expect each data strategy to define how data will push the organization forward, describe what the stakeholders need to do to make the most of data, and establish a timeline for completing the proposed activities.
Here are four steps on how you can build an actionable data strategy for your company.
1. Create an Effective Strategic Planning Committee
The primary step to developing a cohesive data strategy is to identify the stakeholders with a vested interest in the data structure to create an effective data strategy planning committee.
Many companies have a common history of approaching data strategy from the top down. But data serves many functions of a company, so we recommend creating a central committee that will operate outward at all angles.
A few examples of stakeholders who would be involved include financial units, IT teams, and project managers. These stakeholders will be involved across many activities and help influence the success of the strategy.
2. Align Data Strategy to Your Organizational Goals
All stakeholders involved in the strategy need to be one page on the role data will play in pushing the organization to realize its objectives. Doing so will help the committee determine the kind of data required as well as how it will be collected, stored, and accessed for analysis.
3. Assess the Technology Required
As the data framework gradually comes into focus, you need to assess the technology that will be involved to make data processes functional. Create a document detailing the potential data platforms, selection criteria, and other factors such as ease of use, security protocols, and overall cost.
4. Final Execution Plan
All of the work done by this juncture will culminate in a clear approach highlighting how you intend to get from where the organization is to where it wants to be.
This step will inform how the company intends to build a data platform, run tests for quality assurance, and implement it successfully. Each stage should have clear timelines and proposed costs of implementation.
The Bottom Line
As data grows more important to organizations, more so in the modern business climate, data strategies are proving to be a highly crucial tool for companies.
The steps highlighted in this guide can apply to companies of all sizes and industries, so consider using them to create a data strategy that will help your company tap into its resources effectively.
It’s also worth considering upskilling some of your employees as data analysts. There are plenty of courses that you can find online nowadays, such as Power BI training, so it shouldn’t be a challenge to get your employees upskilled as soon as possible.