Uncategorized December 24, 2021

7 Crucial Steps to Building an Enterprise Data Strategy

8 min read

In today’s business world, data takes center stage. All of that collected data is one of the most valuable assets to give you a significant competitive advantage. That’s why creating a scalable data strategy is critical to corporate success.

But where do you start? This article provides crucial steps to help you focus your efforts on creating a data strategy that will move your business to the next level and ensure that data is helping you achieve measurable results. Data Visualization is also an important aspect of the study of data strategy.

Identify business goals

Every day, companies generate billions of data points. If your business objectives do not inform your data management approach, you risk wasting valuable time and resources gathering, storing, and processing the wrong sorts of data. It is generally a good idea to ask questions such as:

  • What are the overall goals of your organization?
  • What information is required to achieve these goals?
  • What kinds of insights and data are needed to succeed on these initiatives?

Concentrate on the three to five most important use cases for your company’s data and create your strategy around them.

Outline your data structure

Once you identify your business goals, the next step is to comprehend your data at a granular level.

Consider the following:

  • Where will the data reside?
  • What kind of data will you gather, and where will you get it?
  • How will you organize the data?

The objective is to outline the structure of your data. You can’t design a thorough plan for data management if you don’t grasp the data architecture.

Identify key stakeholders

The next step to creating an enterprise data strategy is to identify key stakeholders. Key stakeholders are people or organizations affected by the data strategy, including management, other employees, suppliers, customers, government regulators, or the general public.

After determining key stakeholders, it is essential to assess each stakeholder’s needs. Each group of stakeholders should be involved in the creation of a data strategy, as it will make the process easier.

In order to determine what each stakeholder needs, you can conduct a stakeholder analysis. This analysis essentially implies an interview between the data strategist and the stakeholder.

The interview can focus on questions such as how the stakeholder uses data today, what data is available to the stakeholder, and what type of data would be helpful to the stakeholder.  The answers to these questions will help the data strategist determine the appropriate data strategy for each stakeholder.

Establish data governance

The rising usage of data and the expansion of your data infrastructure offers both significant benefits and significant responsibilities. Don’t skimp on data governance, and take the time to develop and convey procedures and policies for proper data usage.

Here are some of the issues to consider:

  • Data privacy: Do you have the authority to gather and use data?
  • Data security: What actions are you doing to keep data safe?
  • Data transparency: How will you ensure an ethical data environment?
  • Data archiving: How long will you keep data, and what will you do if or when it is no longer needed? 
  • Data accessibility: Is your data accessible to anyone, including the public?
  • Data quality: How can you ensure that your data is correct, thorough, and up to date?

Data governance helps you ensure that data is used correctly and consistently throughout the organization; hence, procedures and policies should be communicated and understood not only by owners and stakeholders but by everyone in the organization.

This is a crucial step in fostering a company-wide data culture.

Utilize the right technology

As you work through the steps above, you might find that finding the right tools and technology solutions is vital to building an enterprise data strategy.

Think carefully about what hardware or software you need to establish a robust data infrastructure. From data collection to archiving, search, and governance, there are numerous tools that can help you ensure that your data is protected, reliable, and up-to-date.

With careful planning, dedicated resources, and the right technology, you can develop a data strategy that supports your organizational needs and helps empower both your employees and your customers.

Educate and implement

Sometimes the most challenging aspect of efficiently using data is that the organization’s data owners are not data specialists.

A significant step of your enterprise data management plan will empower your staff with the information and skills they need to evaluate and comprehend the data. You need to make sure that everyone knows the company’s data management strategy and how to perform their responsibilities effectively.

Reassess regularly

No matter how carefully you craft your enterprise data strategy, it will always require some fine-tuning.

Assume you’ve added a new feature to your product or service and are now gathering more sensitive consumer data. This may need to implement a more defensive approach. In addition, if your organization expands at an exponential rate, you may need to switch to a dispersed system rather than a centralized one.

Even if nothing has changed in the way your organization functions, you still need to review your strategy from time to time.

Reviewing your plan every six months to a year is a good rule of thumb. Communicate with business leaders, your teams, and your IT department to assess how everyone feels about your progress and what improvements could be made.

Wrapping up

The steps you take to develop an enterprise data strategy will differ from one organization to another, depending on your industry, company size, data maturity level, and many other factors.

You should build a plan that matches your company’s particular needs by understanding your organization’s data strategy goals, assessing your current data environment, finding the right tools, educating everyone in your organization on how to implement data strategy correctly, and regularly reassessing your plan to fit your current needs and address new challenges.

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