Businesses worldwide are collecting more data than ever before. But without a well-defined data strategy, they’re lost at sea. From the smallest local retailer to the largest Fortune 100 company, the ability to create a business strategy that maximizes your data value can boost your organization’s bottom line and help you gain an edge over the competition. The foundation of any data strategy is asking the right questions that consider the use cases that have the maximum effect on the business.
This blog post will discuss why you need a data strategy and how to build one, including some actionable tips on executing your data strategy.
Why a data strategy
A data strategy is a plan for collecting, organizing, and analyzing your data. You need a strategy because data is growing exponentially, and managing without one is no longer possible. Data is originating from everywhere – from your website to social media to customer service interactions, and it can be collected from mobile devices, sensors, wearables, and more. Data comes in many forms, and we need to know how to organize it to make sense of it.
As businesses try to maximize their return on investment (ROI), they’re turning to analytics and big data tools to find insights into customer behavior and preferences. Businesses are using their data collection platforms to create dashboards with visualizations that help them understand where they should focus their efforts.
A data strategy is a critical component of a business strategy and answers the question of “why." It keeps your team focused on the right things and helps you monitor your progress. To get the most out of your data, you need to understand what you hope to achieve using it.
Here are some examples:
- Make better decisions about product development by tracking customer behavior over time
- Increase sales by creating more targeted marketing campaigns
- Improve customer service by identifying common issues and addressing them before they become problems
Steps to building a solid strategy
- Understand the data landscape.
Understanding your current data landscape is the first step to building a comprehensive strategy. This includes understanding where your data lives, how it is used, what it means, and what value it can create for your business. You’ll also want to understand if there are any holes in your data infrastructure — whether there are gaps in the data repositories or between silos of information that could be bridged through better integration.
- Identify your business needs and goals.
Once you know where you stand, you’ll be able to identify specific areas where you need help to reach your goals. For example, if all of your employees use different tools and processes when working with data, it would be difficult for them to collaborate on projects. Or perhaps there are specific metrics that aren’t being appropriately collected because no one knows which software should be used or who has access to the right tools needed to generate these reports in the first place.
- Develop a data strategy roadmap.
Once you’ve determined what information you need and why it’s time to create a roadmap for implementing a data strategy within your organization. This may include setting up new systems or integrating existing ones into a single platform, making it easier for everyone involved to find the information they need when they need it, with minimal effort.
- Build a data governance framework.
Data governance is the process of defining, implementing, and enforcing policies that direct the collection, processing, storage, and dissemination of information assets within an organization. Having a clear and well-defined data governance plan in place is essential before you start collecting data; otherwise, it can lead to confusion down the line.
- Build a data culture of trust and transparency with employees and customers alike.
Data culture is about having an open dialog about what data is being collected, how it’s being used, and its importance to your organization’s success. It’s also about ensuring that all employees know when new types of data are being collected or its use changes so they can adjust their behavior accordingly. For example, if you’re using GPS data from consumers’ phones to provide location-based services, you should be transparent about how and why this information will be used. You should also provide clear privacy policies that outline how this information will be protected from misuse or unauthorized disclosure.
A clear strategy helps your business
Here are five benefits of building a data strategy:
- It helps you make better decisions
Data can help your business make better decisions, from marketing campaigns to product development to business strategy. For example, data analysis may determine that you need to offer more products or services to meet customer demand or change your pricing structure based on competitor activity or other factors.
- It makes you more competitive
Data can help your business improve your product offerings and differentiate from competitors by giving insights into customer behavior and preferences that you didn’t have before — helping you stay ahead of the competition.
- It helps you prevent mistakes
By analyzing historical and current data about customers, competitors, and other aspects of business operations (such as supply chain), you can learn from past mistakes and avoid repeating them. Thus, you can prevent costly consequences such as lost revenue or unhappy customers leading to product defections or even lawsuits against the company.
- It makes you proactive
Data is a powerful tool. It can help you become more proactive rather than reactive.
One way to be more proactive is by using predictive analytics: using historical data to predict outcomes. It’s a critical component of modern business, from helping companies choose which products to sell or how much inventory they should have on hand to predicting what will happen if a product is discontinued or if a new one should be launched.
- It enables innovation
The more you know about your customers’ preferences and behavior, the easier it is to create new products or services that address those needs. You can also use this information to understand better how customers respond to different marketing messages or pricing structures — which helps inform how much money you should spend on marketing in the future.
Data is a powerful tool, but it’s only as good as you make it. And to use data to your advantage, a robust data strategy is a must!
If you are interested in data strategy consultation, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Intellect Data, Inc. is a software solutions company incorporating data science and artificial intelligence into modern digital products with Intellect2TM. IntellectDataTM develops and implements software, software components, and software as a service (SaaS) for enterprise, desktop, web, mobile, cloud, IoT, wearables, and AR/VR environments. Locate us on the web at www.intellectdata.com.