Over the last year, we saw a significant pivot by global businesses to not only see data as an important business driver, but to inform the goals and actions of a variety of departments to achieve business objectives. Forging a data strategy for a company is an imperative step to not only drive decisions, but to also attract highly skilled tech talent who expect that any credible organization would have a data strategy in place.
How to Develop a Successful Data Strategy
A robust, well-thought, and communicated data strategy is key to achieving a competitive advantage in business. In the past, information technology provided a critical service keeping data flowing across the organization. Today, data is a product and if used strategically it creates value. A company’s data strategy is a road map on how best to use the resource of data to drive decisions, create new products, manage supply chains, increase revenue, learn about customers, and optimize resources. Every business can leverage data as a corporate asset. Data strategies must not only consider today’s capabilities, but need to flex as fast as business changes.
An essential component of a data strategy is to define what data is not important to analyze. Companies are inundated with data from a lot of sources. A solid data strategy helps to focus data analysis efforts on items that will have a direct business impact for a company’s unique business model. Additionally, a data strategy can prevent costly mistakes with legal/PR, technical and staffing issues.
Numerous case studies across all industries verify the power of data to drive success. When online provider of contacts, 1-800-CONTACTS.com, supplied its call center employees and executives with a dashboard to show near-real-time data about sales,â the company experienced $55,000 in additional revenue per month. The directive to extract sales data real time and share it with call center employees is a good example of the kind of actions that would be defined in a robust data strategy.
Here are the steps to create a successful data strategy:
- Start with your business goals.
Be specific about the business goals you plan to achieve. Build a data strategy that supports these business goals.
- Define specific tactics.
If you are going to achieve your business goals, what specific actions will you need to take?
- Determine how technology can support those tactics.
What data could help you complete your tactics?
Of the multitude of projects your organization could focus on, determine which projects you will commit to.
Most data strategies extend for a 12- to 18-month period; however, they are always evolving to adapt to changing circumstances.
Essential Stakeholders for the Data Strategy
While many organizations now see the importance of adding a data scientist to their team, it’s not their role to create a data strategy. Data scientists execute and manage the data strategy, but they collaborate with stakeholders across the organization to create it. In fact, for a data strategy to succeed, it is imperative to have buy-in from the C-suite and input from all departments.
Data Teams Require the Right Tools to Succeed
As more organizations shift their perceptions and actions to treat data as a resource, their data teams will require the right tools to process, store, and analyze the data. A comprehensive on-site to cloud solution is critical for the protection and efficient storage of your company data to reduce risk and speed up innovation. Tools such as the Hybrid Cloud model from Hitachi offer a predictable user experience and customizable and comprehensive solution for your team. In addition, Hitachi’s Hyper Scale-Out Platform (HSP) can help you gain faster business insights with a converged compute, storage, and virtualization platform. It will also reduce your operating costs and increase performance with a scalable infrastructure ready for growth.