All About Creating and Evaluating an Effective Data Strategy Roadmap
“Those companies that view data as a strategic asset are the ones that will survive and thrive.” – Bernard Marr
Data is now an indispensable ingredient in the success of any business. Organizations have realized the importance of data and that it is a strategic asset that must be leveraged to its optimum. The data can bring along a lot of good, but it can tag along numerous inconsistencies and malpractices if not managed properly.
That is where the implementation of an exemplary data strategy comes into the picture. And once the data strategy is done, the role of a data strategy roadmap is important to envision your data-driven competencies and reach out to your organizational goals.
This article showcases the importance of a good strategy roadmap and how it can be assessed and created to garner the best results. Before we go into further details, let us understand the basics of what a data strategy is and what a data strategy roadmap is.
What is a Data Strategy?
A data strategy encompasses a set of clear goals that must be achieved by the organization. An efficient data strategy is created to assist organizations to define the path that is data-driven. It must consider all important factors that can affect the data outcomes under all possible circumstances.
It is the foundation of major data practices that acts as a guided path to manage and monitor all involved components in your projects – people, processes, technology, and data. It showcases how companies can take the help of data and make business decisions.
Key Challenges in Data Strategy
As organizations design data strategies, there are certain hurdles that they face, overcoming which is necessary:
- Less visibility of utilizing data in organizations
- Lack of collaboration between interrelated business units
- Tough integration between disparate sources of data
- Complying with standard rules, regulations, and laws
- The dearth of security measures and adherence to government policies
- Incapability to make data-driven and timely decisions
- Inconsistent documentation, metrics, KPIs
- Dependency on the IT department and less knowledge of technology
What is a Data Strategy Roadmap?
A data strategy roadmap is needed to address the above-mentioned challenges. It acts as a base for all data-related activities and helps companies in staying intact as per strategy guidelines. It is linked to your organizational objectives and details the further line of action to make the most of all the data that is involved.
It also mentions the key performance indicators and metrics involved in the assessment of your data abilities. It is the result of all activities performance till now and the further action planned. A data strategy roadmap acts as a stepwise manual for business transformation from its existing state to what is desired.
Why is an Effective Data Strategy Roadmap Important?
Here are evident reasons why an effective data strategy roadmap is a necessity for business success:
- Identification of the ideal path to garner business value
- Effective collaboration between all involved stakeholders
- Breaking down huge chunks of information into convenient chunks
- Best utilization of time, resources, and money
- Feasibility of novel ideas and prioritizing the tasks
- Strategy visualization with a focus on implementing data vision and mission
- Small and simple solutions with seamless integration with each other
- Creating a positive impetus for data strategy
Key Inclusions in a Data Strategy Roadmap
An effective and robust data strategy roadmap must involve the following components:
- Identified organizational goals
- Stakeholders and their associated responsibilities
- Project deadlines with detailed timelines
- Budget and costs involved at each step
- Technologies involved that are aligned with the goals
- List of deliverables and relevant timeline
- Business case definition
- The data governance structure for asset management
- QA plan for maintaining standards in reporting
Key Pointers to Create a Robust Data Strategy Roadmap
- Align your Business Vision with Data Strategy
It is important to synchronize your data strategy with the organizational objectives. This is essential so that there is enhanced visibility, profitability, and productivity. It also ensures that the roadmap does not deviate from the major goals sought by the business. There could be many strategic pointers that could be useful but they all need not align with the goals and hence may not be useful.
- Abide by Data Governance Rules and Regulations
Whatever may be your data strategy lookout and your objectives, abiding by the governance rules and regulations is mandatory. Hence, taking these standards into consideration right from the beginning is wise and inevitable. While designing the roadmap itself, stakeholders must map it well with the needed regulatory standards like HIPAA, GDPR, etc. so that there is no major update or hindrance later.
- Plan Training Schedules Well in Advance
Designing and implementing the data strategy roadmap can work well only if all involved stakeholders are well-trained in the entire implementation. After all, they are the end-users and must be well-versed in the execution methodologies. Hence, planning for training in advance is a must for the smooth execution of projects.
- Select the Apt Technology, Tools, and Architecture
Implementation of any digital transformation is going to be through the technology and tool selected, reporting tools, data warehousing platforms, integration tools, etc. Hence, to keep your data strategy roadmap in line with requirements, it is a must to select the tools and technologies wisely, keeping in mind the exact needs, available resources, costs involved, project deadlines, and infrastructure capabilities.
- Set Roles and Responsibilities Wisely and Distinctly
Once business goals and tools are finalized, it is advisable to set all relevant roles and responsibilities with detailed assignments for each. Doing so will give a transparent picture of how many resources will you need and in which team. It will also offer a view into the number of work-oriented teams that will operate together. Whether you will have a complete in-house team or may need to hire resources from outsourcing teams can be made clear right from the start.
- Design and Decide Upon Dashboards and Charts for Better Understanding
Having a detailed visual understanding is very important for a data strategy to work appropriately. And that can be done by designing and implementing a variety of visually appealing dashboards and reports that can help in following the paths that the data strategies are taking. Any kind of discrepancy, additional requirement, deviation from the main path, data threats, etc. can be perceived in advance, through these visual reports.
- Identify the Components for the Futuristic Utilization of Data
Data is utilized for a long run of time and hence identifying the key components that can be of great use in the future is a must. Looking at the technology trends, components belonging to different categories like BI, Big Data, data warehouses, data lakes, databases, internal and external data sources, etc. must be analyzed, identified, and utilized as needed. Staying in sync with the latest trends will help data strategies to be modernized and hence effective.
Summarizing It Up
Reading through this article makes us realize the importance of creating a data strategy and more than that, creating a data strategy roadmap that can assure the correct implementation of the strategy planned. Of course, to each their own! Organizations may have their own way of doing so, but the above-mentioned pointers would surely be of great help in designing the roadmap.
We offer exemplary services for setting up a roadmap for smoothening your data strategies and leading your business toward success and profitability. It will help organizations in sticking to company objectives as well as garner the best value from the heaps of data available. Contact us in case of any IT requirements and leave the rest to us!