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5 Data Strategy Hacks

Defining and delivering your data and analytics strategy can be a challenge. We hear from many organisations that whilst they have the desire and aspirations to do great things, they are unsure of how best to get started and what the best approach is.

Organisations come at this in different ways. Essentially you gotta define why you want a strategy, how you make it business enabling (not just about the data itself), and what you will do once you’ve defined it.

1. Shape a vision around your business problems and opportunities

Your vision isn’t to be awesome at using data, it’s not to build a data lake, it’s not to deliver AI. Instead figure out what things data can sort out, what things data can fix, enable, make happen, drive for your business. That’s the most important thing for your strategy. What will you actually do? Then shape the vision for you data strategy around that. Improve retention, increase conversion, remove friction from processes, automate the hell out of your supply chain.

2. Make sure you get buy in from across the business

Don’t do data to your organisation. Don’t deliver and hope. Don’t secretly build the best solution. Don’t define a data strategy in isolation. Get out there; talk to people, gain momentum, hit the top of the organisation and get bottom up involvement and champions. Better still get a senior business owner to work closely with and sponsor your efforts. If necessary think skunkworks, guerrilla team set up to do something different, try a new way of delivering. Not only will this get collaboration across a number of teams but start the buy-in process early and you get to make some friends in the process.

3. Build a team with business, analytical and technical skills

Construct a team the best way you can based on constraints you have. Cross train, up skills, bring in third-parties. However you need to make it work within your organisation, make sure that the team is varied and cross skilled. Initiatives are won by a team. You need to be business people first who can translate and integrate with the sharp end of the business. Mix in some analytical capability to build the brain. And some technical skills to ingest and manage the data. It’s a team sport. Play the game.

4. Think about what you can get done and go do it

Don’t hang about. You can talk and plan the hell out of this stuff. There’s loads to decide – which technology, what team, how you’ll get benefits case signed off for multi-year programme, where you’ll celebrate how amazing you are at building algorithms. However, none of that matters if you take 24 months to show your organisation that you can deliver value. Jump in a room with your team (or you and a whiteboard) and answer the question “what could we do tomorrow?”. Then go do it. You need to make all those other decisions alongside but you’ve got to attack this on multiple fronts simultaneously.

5. Speak to people and collaborate 

There are many ways to skin a cat and depending on your organisation, the maturity with data, the aspirations and desires you have will ultimately shape the best way to approach your data strategy. Learning how others have done this or are planning to approach this will rapidly accelerate your understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Learn from other peoples lessons. Avoid the scars they have gained in being a step ahead of where you are. Collaborate with other organisations like yours. Speak to people who have experience in other industries to help disrupt thinking in yours

Consultancy Lounge at Big Data LDN

We’ll be taking part in Big Data LDN on 13th & 14th November 2018; find us in the Consultancy Lounge, where you can come and have a chat about data strategy and any other queries you might have.


For more insights into building a data strategy, make sure to download our Data Strategy whitepaper.