How does your organization measure up in terms of data strategy?
In a recent survey conducted by Computing, more than half of polled business leaders stated that their organization is data-driven, with 20% saying that they are part of a fully data-driven organization that views data as the most crucial asset. More than 30%, on the other hand, say they consistently make data-driven business decisions and actively invest in internal capabilities to help use data across the organization.
By becoming a data-driven enterprise, businesses can significantly improve performance, customer experience, and product development –– all of which can have a positive impact on revenue. According to Brent Gleeson, “data-driven organizations are seeing upwards of 20% to 30% improvements in EBITDA due to unlocked efficiencies and more granular financial insight.”
Many businesses fail to fully harness data
However, despite attempts to become truly data-driven, many businesses are failing to fully harness their data down to the last byte. Cross-industry studies (as cited by Harvard Business Review) reveal that “on average, less than half of an organization’s structured data is actively used in making decisions, and less than 1% of its unstructured data is analyzed or used at all.”
The existence of data silos is one of the primary reasons why businesses cannot make the most of their data. Almost 40% of surveyed executives believe that most of their data is in silos and not made available to users outside of specific applications. Nearly 15%, on the other hand, think that this applies to all of their data. They also say that they have issues with data quality. Poor data management often results in slow data-to-insights and decision making. According to HBR, “80% of analysts’ time is spent simply discovering and preparing data.”
Almost 40% of surveyed executives believe that most of their data is in silos and not made available to users outside of specific applications.
Businesses who want to become data-driven are also confronted with various challenges. The majority of businesses (55%) confessed that getting their organization to commit to supporting the required change is one of their major obstacles. They also experience difficulty in securing the budget (44%), finding the right skills (43%) and technologies (37%), developing a business case (35%), and getting external parties to conform with the change (34%).
Data challenges are also a major roadblock to digital transformation –– with data integration, data security, and data quality being the biggest hurdles. Data management becomes more complex during the digital transformation process due to the overwhelming amount of both structured and unstructured data held in legacy platforms and cloud-based systems.
Having a data strategy is important
Before we elaborate on the competitive advantages of having a data strategy, let us first be clear about what it is –– and what it is not. Stony Brook University’s Braden Hosch defines data strategy as an “intentional action and prioritization plan to (a) harness and integrate data, (b) create and disseminate information/intelligence, and (c) advance a [business] mission.” Data strategy does not simply mean data governance or data management — it also covers data acquisition, data quality, data access, data usage, data literacy, data extraction, data reporting, data analytics, and data security.
According to Hosch, with a coherent data strategy in place, businesses can reduce risks; drive innovation; retain and grow revenue; and promote operational effectiveness, excellence, and efficiency.
Enable a mature approach to master data management
Master data management is critical to creating a data-driven digital stack since it provides for a trusted core of data. It is also helpful in freeing data from existing silos and avoiding the creation of new ones. A truly data-driven organization ensures that data is available for all authorized and relevant users.
Many business leaders (24%) think that their organization is now at this stage of maturity, while others (another 24%) believe that they have reached the stage where all master data is managed and federated across core business applications.
But how can you gauge the maturity of your organization’s data strategy?
Rank your data strategy
Assessing the maturity of your data strategy can help you rethink your current approaches to data. It can also encourage you to consider all the gaps that may be hindering your organization from becoming fully data-driven.
Is the maturity of your data strategy good, fair, or poor? Is your current framework strewn with data management, integration, or compliance challenges? If yes, how are you going to address it?
Liaison offers a quick and easy way to evaluate the maturity of your data strategy. Simply take our free data strategy assessment quiz to determine how your organization measures up.