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What Is a Data Strategy?

In this age of big data it is even more important to think small. This is a great way of looking at data.

Defining a data strategy: An essential component of your digital transformation journey

Once you have defined the ideal data, look inside the organisation to see what data you already have. Then look outside and establish what data you could have access to. But remember, only by knowing what data you need will you know where to look for it, and how to collect it. How will I analyse that data? Traditional data collection and analysis is one thing — like point of sale transactions, website clicks, etc. Combining this messy and complex data with other more traditional data, like transactions, is where a lot of the value lies, but you must have a plan for the analysis.

How will I report and present insights? Making good use of data visualisation techniques and taking pains to highlight and display key information in a user-friendly way will help ensure that your data gets put to good use. Keeping your target audience in mind is perhaps the most important thing to remember at this stage. So, in this step you need to define how the insights will be communicated to the information consumer or decision maker.

You need to think about which format is best and how to make the insights as visual as possible. You also need to consider whether interactivity is a requirement, i. What software and hardware do I need? Following on from defining what data is needed, how it will be turned into value, and how it will be communicated to the end user, you need to define your software and hardware requirements.


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Is your current data storage technology right? Should it be supplemented with cloud solutions?

Data Strategy - What, Why, When, Who, Where - Digital Transformation for Professionals

What current analytic and reporting capabilities do you have and what do you need to get? Like any action plan, this will include key milestones, participants and responsibilities. After creating your data strategy, one of your first steps will be to make a robust business case for data to the people in your organisation — effectively convincing them of the merits of using data and linking the benefits back to business KPIs.

Importantly, you should also identify training and development needs within the company and recognise where you might need external help. I find it a simple and intuitive method for creating a data strategy, and one that engages the key decision makers in an organisation — I hope you find it helpful, too.

Why Organizations Need a Data Strategy

In addition to these six steps I have also developed a template for developing a data strategy as well as a template for defining data use cases for your business. Bernard Marr is an internationally bestselling author, futurist, keynote speaker, and strategic advisor to companies and governments. LinkedIn has recently ranked Bernard as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world and the No 1 influencer in the UK.

He has authored 16 best-selling books, is a frequent contributor to the World Economic Forum and writes a regular column for Forbes. What is data Strategy? So how do you tap into this huge potential of data collection and analysis in enterprises? I believe that a comprehensive enterprise-wide Data Strategy can give significant competitive advantage in the marketplace.

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I define Data Strategy as a strategy that lays out a comprehensive vision across the enterprise and sets a foundation for the company to employ data-related or data-dependent capability. We can argue about the exact semantics of this definition but the key points are the bold words. My broad guidance is to make it actionable for your specific organization and industry and somewhat evolutionary to adjust to disruptive market forces.

Make the Data Strategy incorporate some guiding principles to accomplish the data-driven vision, direct your company to select specific business goals , and be a starting point for data-driven planning across the company. Not sure if you belong to the camp that believes data is an asset to the organization but if you do, you must believe that data that your organization owns is a resource that has economic value and you expect it to provide future benefit just like any other asset.

I am sure you consider your employees as assets and you have employee-focused strategy attracting and retaining etc. According to the IDG research I mentioned above, the top 3 problems that organizations expect data to solve problems are as follows. Without a comprehensive enterprise-wide Data Strategy, how can you expect to solve any of those problems mentioned above? And worse yet, these businesses may be dealing with inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistent data leading them to wrong business decisions. It could be some kind of Digital Transformation initiative, Business Reengineering, or even annual strategic planning.

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It could even be tied to a merger and acquisition event. It is a much steeper hill to climb to justify it just on its own and out of the blue. No, I am not being ambitious but being direct and blunt about it. What I meant by this question is should a company start this initiative at the corporate level or at a business unit level? Based on the thesis of my article so far, the answer obviously is at the corporate level.