In today’s digitised world, powerful data driven insight is fast becoming the norm. As consumers we are accustomed to the predictive power of data with regular suggestions on what we might like to view or purchase. That’s because the most successful organisations understand the value of their data. They utilise it through innovative business processes and ensure it drives accurate business decisions to help them gain market advantage.
With a deeper understanding of customer attributes and behaviour, they can reduce churn, increase revenue streams, detect fraud and introduce dynamic pricing. To achieve these kinds of applications, an organisation needs a flexible and scalable technological landscape, and current, visible and valid data. Critical to the success of achieving this is a robust data strategy.
A successful data strategy will help your organisation identify new opportunities for using data, define a clear business case and identify how to measure ROI. It will define key stakeholder involvement, strategic goals, as well as technical architecture and technology requirements. With a carefully planned, phased programme of work, you will ensure project success, drive a higher level of business engagement and achieve measurable ROI.
The key steps to a robust data strategy…
Define key stakeholders
A data strategy should impact and benefit the entire organisation. That’s why it is not only essential that architects and technologists are involved from the outset, but critically the senior business managers that experience the challenges and whose teams will use the business insight to make decisions. Early and continued involvement and communication is key to ensuring buy-in and support.
Align data strategy with business objectives
An organisation’s data strategy needs to directly support the goals of the business. By taking a high level view of the business vision and focusing on critical activities, it is then possible to dig into the detail of how data can be used to achieve those strategic initiatives, and to identify clear business use cases with defined ROI.
There’s no doubt that your organisation will define numerous initiatives that would benefit from data insight and advanced reporting. Whilst improved reporting may justify project spend, high business value will be linked to transformative business process changes, such as dynamic pricing, identifying customer churn, fraud detection, and workforce/sales force optimisation. Prioritising projects involves rating their value against cost and risk. By carefully assessing ROI against the time and complexity of the project, it is possible to identify some quick wins, as well the projects that will deliver the greatest ROI in terms of revenue generating opportunities, savings and efficiencies.
Understand current use of information
Through interviews, documentation reviews and system analysis, it is possible to conduct an assessment of the current use of information. This will help to understand, for example, what reports exist, who uses them and for what purpose. It is important to understand what is currently being measured and why, as well as where the data comes from. More importantly, it is essential to learn what information isn’t currently available, but could add value.
Understand the data landscape
Most organisations have a complex IT landscape, where valuable data lies trapped in fragmented silos. A key part of a data strategy is to understand what data is created and consumed across the organisation and to build a complete data map to describe its use. It is also essential to profile the end users to appreciate the types of data consumed by different groups and how they would best consume information in future.
Define the technology roadmap
Technical architecture and tool selection is a wide and complex subject. The most appropriate technology platform and provider will enable scalability as data volumes and business data applications increase. A data strategy should define an architectural blueprint that can be implemented in phases. Modern approaches such as Platform as a Service (PaaS) enable a modular, flexible and more cost effective approach, although it does require a deeper understanding of how to use many technologies.
Altius has a long history and established reputation for helping companies implement innovative data driven applications to exploit data. We will work with you to develop a detailed roadmap focused on the best ways to drive growth through utilising data to improve business processes and decision making.