Leveraging data to make critical decisions used to be a strategic advantage unique only to big businesses. But thanks to modern advancements in technology, companies of all sizes can create and use data platforms to gain a competitive edge in the market.
However, building a functional data platform starts with a data strategy. A data strategy is a rigorous process of collecting, organizing, and analyzing data to help the organization realize its objectives.
A good data strategy will help make a company more efficient and also draw plans for what they want to achieve in the future.
This article explains several steps you can take to build a data strategy.
1. Define How Your Data Aligns with Organizational Goals
The first crucial step is to assess your objectives so you can better understand how data can help you achieve them. Since the process will involve data acquisition, organization, and even analysis, consider how the data strategy will help you over a stipulated time frame.
Note that most, if not all, departments in your organization use data, so make sure that you include all the department heads in making key decisions regarding your data strategy.
2. Identify Your Data Sources
The goal in this step is to figure out in which format your data resides. Ask questions like: is it structured, semi-structured, or unstructured?
Make sure that the data is also accessible to all the stakeholders and find out how it will be accessed and used. Assess current business processes, data sources, data assets, technology assets, capabilities, and policies at the organization.
3. Define the Skills You Need
Now that you know what you’re trying to achieve and where your data sources are, you can venture into the talent needed to make the data strategy a reality.
Start by making a list of the skills you need. Assess those that you have already at the company and those you might need to outsource or hire. You might have to offer additional training to already recruited employees.
All in all, these three strategies will help you achieve optimal results.
4. Design An Implementation Roadmap
Last but not least, make a plan on how to implement the strategy. Delegate steps of the process to different people in charge so they may inform their subordinates of their respective roles.
Set a timeline that will dictate certain action points and their respective deadlines. Remember to allocate room for changes. Even after you have successfully created a data strategy, you still have to make sure that the strategy is revised periodically.
A data strategy will help you know your customers better. You will be able to adapt to the newest trends and predict upcoming trends so you can align accordingly. It will also help improve in-house operations so you can deliver better products and services to your customers.
After all, every company thrives because of the good decisions its leaders make, and building a good data strategy will certainly make that task a lot easier.