How to take advantage of valuable data assets in a data-driven world

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Today’s data-driven world has enabled enterprises to make confident decisions using facts, metrics, and key performance indicators. Using the actionable insights gleaned from hard data as opposed to intuition, observation, or guesswork can inform key decisions. However, organizations must have a clear data strategy in order to take full advantage of their valuable data assets.

Building a data strategy is a challenging process. Many obstacles can derail even the best-laid plans, from data quality issues to technical limitations. Here are practical tips for creating an effective data management strategy in order to avoid missteps in this ongoing endeavor.

Why You Need a Data Strategy

Data is one of the most valuable assets a company possesses and creating a strategy for that data is essential. Outlining how you use and manage your data can help you more effectively achieve your desired business goals. With a well thought out strategy, your data can produce:

Better Decision-Making: By analyzing and interpreting data, companies make informed decisions without relying on gut feelings. It’s also the best way to gain insights into market trends, operational performance, and what works and what doesn’t. You no longer need to listen to the loudest voice in the room because reliable data is informing your business decisions.

Streamlined Operations: With an effective data strategy, your company can improve efficiency by streamlining operations. Data collection and analysis can help minimize errors, optimize resources, customize your campaigns, enhance team collaboration, and more.

Innovation: You can drive innovation through insights from your data by using it to adapt to market changes, drive growth in new ways, and improve your product by customizing it to fit your customers’ needs. Making data a part of your culture and leveraging data to drive your product strategy is the best way to gain a competitive advantage in an ever-changing business environment.

Common Pitfalls in Data Strategy Development

There are several pitfalls that you should take care to avoid when building a data strategy.

Lack of Clarity: Creating clear business objectives for your data can take time and effort. Not having clear objectives can lead to your organization collecting irrelevant or incomplete data that doesn’t support the business’s overall goals.

Inadequate Data Governance: Policies, procedures, and processes must be well-defined when managing data effectively. With the implementation of internal standards, data becomes consistent, easier to manage, and reliable.

Lack of Integration: Analyzing data spread across multiple systems and sources is particularly challenging. Consolidated data is the key to better decision-making. That’s why it’s important to integrate it into your workflow.

Lack of Data Culture: Without an organizational data-driven culture, data can be undervalued and underutilized. By creating processes, attitudes, behaviors, and practices, your team will be able to use data consistently.

Defining Your Data Strategy
Businesses face many challenges associated with growing volumes of data. Without a well-defined data strategy, you might only be surviving, instead of thriving. Here are tactics that can help define your data strategy:

Identify KPIs: To avoid the pitfall of unclear business objectives, clearly define them and identify key performance indicators (KPIs) before diving deeper into data. That way, you can measure progress as you work towards your goals.

Well-Defined Data Governance Framework: Outline the roles, responsibilities, and processes for managing data throughout its lifecycle, or better yet – involve everyone on the team in data governance. The best way to have data at the helm of your business is to make it accessible, understandable, and shareable.

Have a Single Hub for Data: Using tools such as an all-in-one digital workplace that integrates data analytics features and brings the power of data to everyone on the team can help you overcome inadequate data integration and enhance productivity. According to a survey by Reveal, 34% of respondents say they spend too much time app-switching.

Implement a Data-Driven Culture: Promote the use of data throughout your organization to help your employees develop data literacy. Creating a data-driven culture is the best way to ensure that everyone in every department considers data when making decisions.

Building a data strategy and fostering a data-driven culture is no easy feat, but it can be easier to accomplish with the right approach and tools. A meaningful data strategy can help you leverage advanced analytical capabilities that greatly enhance decision-making processes. If your data is being managed properly, it can be one of your organization’s most useful assets.