Any organization that seeks to benefit from the mountain of scattered data it has acquired needs to make a long-term plan that analyzes its people, processes and technology. The seven key elements discussed here will help you overcome data challenges you’ll come across as you formulate your plan.
1. Identify Business Requirements
Particular business needs must be met before you can achieve your strategic goal. First, you need to identify particular people with whom you can form an alliance. Identify someone in the organization who would get support for (champion) the investment. Also, identify the stakeholders and the other small or medium enterprises because they will represent functions or departments within the company.
The next thing you should do during this step is to try to determine what your strategic goals will be and then sync department-level goals with the company’s goals. Interview executives first and then the department leaders. Find out what they want to improve, the questions they have and the key performance indicators for those questions.
2. Sourcing and Gathering Data
Now that you know what the questions are that your business wants answered, you need to:
- Analyze the data sources
- Analyze how you get the data
- Analyze where the data is
Regarding that last one, the data is likely inaccessible, so you’ll have to work backward to find the source. If data is in-house, note where it is and any obstacles to getting it. Ascertain whether the information has need-to-know restrictions on it, is outdated, or doesn’t answer your question. Notate unavailable data for later. One of the main benefits of using an economic calendar is that it can help you plan your trades.
3. Technology and Infrastructure Requirements
When making your company’s overall architecture and data management plan, consider the following:
- You’ll find a central data repository useful since you don’t want to rely on an operational system.
- A cloud-based solution may be the best idea if your organization does not have the technical infrastructure or skills to support a data warehouse on-prem.
- You’ll need to determine whether unavailable data can be calculated, estimated, purchased or generated.
- You’ll want to find out whether there is a standard integration tool for putting data that’s in source systems into the central repository and whether it would be put in a usable form.
- You’ll need to figure out how you will give others access to the data.
4. Turning Data into Insights
You’ll need to provide some recommendations regarding analytics applications in your data strategy. Using a program like Word doesn’t allow you to interact with the data, and using this sort of program would cause a bottleneck. You need a data visualization tool to make the data easier to understand.
5. People and Processes
In this step, you’ll look at your employees and the processes they use where creating, sharing, and governing data are concerned. Even the U.S. federal government has come up with a strategy. The U.S. government names four components that guide federal data management and use every year. These components are their mission statement, principles, practices and the annual action plan.
Since data strategy will introduce more data, analysis and new tools, you’ll need to look at your employees’ skill sets to determine where they will need support. You may also need to change some business processes that have been causing unintentional roadblocks and make them incorporate the data analysis.
6. Data Governance
At this step, data is shared and analyzed. Everyone will know where the data came from, and the right people will have access to it. You may want to develop a data dictionary, which is a living document. End-user dimensions and measures are formally defined in a living document, including terms. You’ll clear up misunderstandings during this step.
7. The Roadmap
You can put your efforts to work during this final step. Each recommendation needs to be capable of making a change. You should check the feasibility of each recommendation and the value you expect it to provide. You’ll want to prioritize easy-to-implement activities that give the business quick wins. Other considerations include staff availability, the budgeting process and competing projects. Include incremental deadlines that you celebrate.
Companies should harness the information that is stored in various places and use it. You’ll benefit from following these seven steps when developing your plan.