Getting your business interested in a data strategy

Duplicated data, poor reporting, privacy breaches, tedious processes, missed sales opportunities, uninformed decision-making, and errors are just some of the consequences you can face with mismanaged data. It can greatly impact your efficiency, productivity, and credibility, and if you’re not careful, it can even affect customer loyalty and business longevity.

To help you avoid this fate and ensure that your data is captured, accessible, organised, managed, and, most importantly, understood, external entities can take you through a data management process demonstrating how well-managed data can transform your business.

A business approach to data management:

Step 1 – About you and your business

The first step in planning a successful journey is knowing your starting point, where the discovery process begins.

Get external parties involved in a discovery session with your team. Through this session, they will get to know you and your organisation and the industry and business climate you are operating in. By the end, they will have discovered the challenges and threats to resolve, the improvements and opportunities to seize, and the data areas of interest and value to explore.

What should be achieved:

  • Understand you and your organisation
  • Determine the current state of the environment
  • Identify needs, opportunities, challenges, and threats
  • Pinpoint the data areas that will make the biggest difference to your business

Step 2 – Showcase your data

Once the external party understands  your business well and the data areas that will make the biggest difference to you, they get to work. This is where you reap the benefits of having a data expert take control of data and show even the most sceptical member of the team the power of leveraging your data. 

Focusing on one of your key areas of interest, we capture the data, identify patterns, and organise it in a meaningful way that can be understood and result in actionable outcomes for your business. 

What should be achieved:

  • Deliver a proof-of-concept project
  • Capture and analyse the data in a key area of business
  • Identify meaningful data patterns not previously known
  • Showcase the opportunities and business outcomes that come from capturing and using your data

Step 3 – Developing the strategy

Once you have realised the importance of utilising your data, the external party should develop a personalised data management strategy. This includes performing a full inventory of your information systems, data sources, and business processes.

The strategy identifies the best way to capture, clean, organise, manage, and store your data so it can be easily accessed, analysed, reported on, and understood. 

To ensure greater buy-in, they should engage with users at this point to determine how the data needs to be used and what the new processes, practices, and policies around managing data should look like to ensure they are relevant and repeatable across your business. 

What should be achieved:

  • Information systems, data systems, and business processes
  • Identifying primary points of data that need to be used by other systems or fed into reports
  • Develop enterprise strategy for data management
  • Ensure business readiness for rollout from the top down 

Step 4 – Building the platform

This is where the rubber meets the road. Once the strategy has been approved, these parties should start building your data management system to capture, track, and monitor the changes and trends in your data. Visual tools like dashboards and reports ensure data is easy to access, understand, and action and presented so that management can see the ROI and ongoing benefits of data management.

Through this process, they also identify data stewards and strengthen your organisational capability through education and training. While you can opt to have your data managed for you, increasing your internal capability to utilise the tools and dashboard and analyse and understand your data is crucial.

What should be achieved:

  • Build your data management system
  • Develop dashboards and reports to make data accessible
  • Identify data stewards to assist with the rollout and user engagement
  • Increase your team’s capability through education and training

5 – Optimise your data

The fundamental purpose of capturing your data is to identify ways to improve  your business – more efficient, productive, profitable, and valuable to your clients. All of these can be tracked through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to monitor how effective your actions are.

To ensure your business outcomes and results continue to improve over time, they embark on a continuous data optimisation process. As your business changes and grows, your data needs to reflect and respond to these changes to enable greater decision-making and results.

What should be achieved:

  • Develop a data management optimisation process
  • Create a phased approach to data management (crawl, walk, run) as internal capability increases
  • Review and analyse data performance and outcomes every four weeks 
  • Implement changes to strategy as needed and when business goals and KPIs change

As mentioned at the beginning, there are many consequences with mismanaged data. Following these five steps and remembering to keep a pragmatic approach will prove a well-managed data management process can transform your business.

If you found this blog interesting, please share it with your friends and colleagues.

Don’t keep pushing through with the odds stacked against you!

Have a discussion with one of our team to see how we can help you get your project back on track to achieve the desired outcomes – faster.