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Data should be in the driver seat – here’s how

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While talk around digital transformation has been ‘hot on the heels’ for some time now, I often find myself wondering how much of this talk within business is centred around data, and not just technology. Data transformation goes hand in hand with the move to digital and while by default data will become a key component of any digital transformation strategy, I wonder if enough attention is being placed on data still – hence my consistent focus on driving the value of data in my blog posts.

Is the perception that it is only those who are driven by forward future thinking and innovation that truly get the value of data and subsequently transform their business from both a digital and data aspect?

In wrapping up what has been another revolutionising year in the field of data and technology, I came across a fantastic article that supports the move towards a data driven business and how a business can put data in the driving seat – something you would know I am overly passionate about. The article is entitled 6 steps to mastering data-driven transformation, and below is my take on some of the very valuable steps highlighted, in order (in my view) of importance, that can support a business towards true data transformation.

Defining or developing a business data strategy

No business can achieve anything if a direction is not set and laid out. A vision, along with some set goals, are key in any venture that is to be a success. Transforming to be data driven requires a strategy centred on data. It’s about realising the value your data holds and taking the steps to build a strategy where this data will become the ‘hero’.

Protection and governance

Developing a strategy that places data at the fore naturally means that the business is aiming to achieve as much insight as it can from data, for better decision making and to improve the bottom line. While data is an asset, it also needs to be governed and protected. As such, when defining a data strategy, aspects like regulation and data protection must be taken into account and built into the strategy set out. A data strategy not governed by regulation in this regard is only deemed to fail.

It’s all about access, governed access of course

For a data driven strategy to really add value, the data must become more accessible within the business – and not just to senior management but to all staff who can use the data for the benefit of the business. Those who need to have access to data must have access instantaneously, to support improved decision making.

Leading a data driven culture from the front

Buying into a data strategy requires management to build an internal culture focused on data and the benefit it offers in achieving business vision, goals and targets. Building a culture passionate about data will inherently see a successful data strategy played out.

The above outlines a solid starting point for any business focused on truly harnessing the power of data to their benefit. These steps are not just for forward looking businesses but for any business wanting to reap the value that digital transformation centred on data promises. And with the New Year ahead, what better time to start planning than now.

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