The importance of having a data strategy is two-fold from my experience within several industries.
1. Training Users, Staff and Leadership about data. Lets get them versed!
2 . Streamlining data sources to a data warehouse, lake or one BI Tool environment as much as possible. This keeps integrity of the data as it is closest to the source.
First it starts with accurate input, whether it be manual human interaction or system extracts. The process by which the data gets inputted needs to be done accurately and follow standard operating processes. Another key here is to help train and educate everyone throughout the business on how important their role is with data ownership. These areas feed essential data for making high level decisions. It could be analyses of production, productivity or performance and even medical studies.
Having a team of dedicated data owners by deploying a governance over key business functions or units can help identify the best way to communicate data issues. These can be training, UI or system issues. Voting or deciding on standard metrics that the business units will utilize and be responsible for will help with data integration. If data is glaringly incorrect or performance is poor, the data owners should be able to perform root cause analyses. All of these are culture changes in some industries. It can happen with positive feedback and posting visuals (monitor or poster) for the day to day operations.
Lastly, leadership needs to be completely supportive of the data strategy allowing IS or IT to be involved as a cross functional team member, remaining completely transparent. Timelines for completion and auditing needs to be apart of the data strategy. Balance of basic counts. A=A, not A=B.
Having a clearly documented data dictionary, metrics, benchmarks or KPIs will help establish clear vision of what’s expected across the organization or units.
Having a data versed organization can help your business succeed in many decision making strategies. You’ll find if employees can be apart of the processes you’ll be more likely to succeed as a versed data organization.
By: Jennifer Rozenich