In the rush to become data-driven, we’ve seen many companies fall into the trap of buying the shiny new technology that promises to solve their data woes, only for that same tool to come up short. Every company knows that data is the new oil – it can provide immense value. Of course, to realize that value, data needs to provide actionable insights and not be a budgetary black hole.
In our experience, the best way to assure success along your data journey is to align on an overall Data and Analytics Strategy for your business.
Starting at the Finish Line
Business leaders often have a results-oriented mindset. It doesn’t necessarily matter how you get to the finish line, it’s just important that you get there. This mindset can lead to issues as they try to drive business value through a deeper understanding of their data because process is critical when it comes to implementing a data solution.
Consistently we find companies in the classic scenario of “the cart before the horse”, “counting their eggs before they hatch”, and my personal favorite— “building a house without setting the foundation”.
The Foundation—Building your Data and Analytics Strategy and Vision
Taking the time to define, document, and socialize a Data and Analytics Strategy and Vision is the best method to assure you quickly obtain value from your data. Formalizing this strategy makes it simpler to drive key decision making around which tools and systems you leverage to derive value from your business’ data.
At a basic level, if a key decision around your data ecosystem does not align to your business’s strategy or vision it is not worth pursuing. Leveraging this thought process makes it easier to understand your priorities around any Data and Analytics project or initiative.
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At RevGen, we have helped several organizations define and operationalize their Data and Analytics Strategy. Our framework is designed to stand the test of time while also immediately adding value to your organization.
Through our simple 4-step process you will derive actionable insights that drive business value.
1. Align: Align stakeholders by socializing, prioritizing, and gaining buy in on the key pain points of the current state across people, process, technology & data.
2. Understand: Understand the current state to plan for the future state. What are we doing today? What’s working and what’s not?
3. Define: Crystalize pain points, confirm findings, and define future state strategy across people, process, technology, and data.
4. Plan: Plan to execute the strategy for an optimal future state by detailing phases and actionable steps.
Following these four steps helps organizations ensure they’re able to quickly gain insights from their data. After completing each step, a defined set of artifacts and documents are generated to facilitate the organization’s Data and Analytics journey. These artifacts help guide and ground business to ensure they’re creating value-add increments through each step.
For example, a project charter and plan set the foundation. Findings from pain points and challenges are developed into user stories and requirements that tie back to business objectives. A technology strategy is developed and incorporated into a backlog and roadmap to guide the business with each step they take during their journey.
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