In 2018, data is king
In 1996, Bill Gates penned an essay entitled “Content is King,” and he was right at the time. Content has shaped much of how businesses interact with customers for the last twenty years. But what about the next twenty years? Today and for the foreseeable future, it is data that will hold court in conference rooms and backoffices around the globe. Companies that harness the power of data will create operational efficiencies, uncover new markets, and deliver reimagined customer experiences. Still, too many organizations lack the strategy and systems required to unleash the power of data. Here are four steps your business can take to prepare for a data-driven future.
1. Establish data governance policies
No organization wants to fall victim to a cyber breach. For any steward of customers’ personal information, establishing a clear governance policy is essential. An effective data governance plan sets the parameters for data management and usage and also creates processes for resolving data issues. Business leaders must be empowered to make decisions based on high-quality, ethical, and well-managed information assets.
2. Identify an owner
It’s time to put data where it belongs: in the C-suite. Establishing a Chief Data Officer role is critical for leveraging analytics long-term. Many see the CDO’s purview as a limited function of IT. Instead, this role should serve as a champion for enterprise-wide analytics. Siloed analytics programs are doomed to fail.
Depending on your data management plan, a successful data officer can realize business benefits, drive down risk, and improve competitiveness. While this position will look different in every organization, it’s important to identify the right model that will align with your organizational structure. Doing so will also facilitate successful execution of data programs with the least resistance.
It’s time to put data where it belongs: in the C-suite.
3. Define, map, and track
The challenge in building data infrastructure is not just in capturing the data, but in deriving value from it. Spreadsheets, dashboards, and numbers won’t solve any problems on their own. Deep-dive analysis and, ultimately, human review add impeccable value.
Developing an agile and effective data strategy that integrates data from various technologies across business units is crucial for a competitive organization. Data is the linchpin in optimizing processes, delivering innovation, and delighting customers.
4. Start small and scale
It can be tempting to rush an analytics program rollout, but the key is to start small. Your team will be reluctant to adopt the system if it isn’t easily repeatable and sustainable. The best analytics programs are:
Adaptable: The first step organizations must take is to foster a culture of adaptability. In our world, and especially as it pertains to data and analytics, change is the only constant. Technologies and methodologies are constantly evolving, and organizations must adopt a mindset of adaptability.
Agile: It’s all about how quickly data can be sourced, analyzed, and turned into an actionable use case for enhancing the organization and improving the customer experience. Last week’s data is last week’s news.
Scalable: Investing in data programs is great – but useless if unscalable. Every step should be centered around the need to scale, from data capture to management, storage, sharing, and analysis. The ability to expand on demand is critical for developing a successful data program.
Investing in an effective data program is as much an exercise in change management as it is in analytics. The organizations that derive lasting value from their data take a cross-functional approach to analytics strategy and deployment. With the depth and breadth of expertise required to build comprehensive analytics programs for the modern enterprise, Bridge Partners helps leading companies unleash the power of their data.
I’d love to learn how we can help your organization. Shoot me an email, and let’s chat.