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Creating a Data Strategy For Your Business

data strategy

Creating a Data Strategy For Your Business

Creating a Data Strategy For Your Business
Creating a Data Strategy For Your Business

You’ll encounter more data to navigate as your business grows. Your business must develop a thorough data strategy if it is to properly manage millions or even thousands of data points.

If you have queries or worries about creating a data strategy, you are not alone. It’s not as difficult as it might appear to develop a data strategy for your company. In this article, we’ll explain what data strategy is, why using a framework is important, and how to get started developing your own.

What is Data Strategy?

Data management is viewed holistically and comprehensively via the lens of data strategy. In order to develop an integrated strategy across all applications and teams, it includes the essential elements of data lifecycle management, including collection, storage, maintenance, utilization, and cleansing. This makes it easier to keep all data reliable, consistent, and current.

Data Strategy
Data Strategy

A data governance strategy is a portion of a data strategy that aids in protecting an organization’s data from inconsistency and inaccuracy.

Why is it crucial to have a data strategy?

You may efficiently utilize the data your company has gathered by creating a data strategy. Your company’s data is simply meaningless and a waste of resources without a solid data strategy.

A market research analyst named Max Iskiev says, “Data strategy is essential for making wise business decisions. It enables you to monitor and assess your progress toward your professional objectives and can assist you in determining what is and isn’t working.

Making a plan will help your business make the most of its data and improve decision-making. Additionally, because data strategy provides a clear picture of performance, all organizational departments may do their duties more successfully. They are aware of how their work supports the company’s overarching objective, making this feasible.

When should your business create a data strategy?

No matter how large or small a business is, it always makes sense to develop and record a data strategy, according to Duggan-Herd. No matter how young or old your organization is, it will profit from having a thorough data strategy plan. Create your plan as soon as you can if you’re establishing a new business. Alternatively, if your business has been operating for some time, it’s never too late to begin.

A living document is what your data strategy plan should be, so keep that in mind. When you introduce new applications to your organization, be ready to update them, and go back to them frequently. Having a well-defined data management strategy makes it feasible to maximize organizational performance. This works since your data strategy supports preserving:

  • Reliable, accurate data
  • Ethical use of data that adheres to data protection regulations 
  • Actionable, relevant reporting that can impact business decisions
  • Only one version of data synced between all apps

The Components of a Data Strategy

Let’s walk through the critical elements of your data strategy. Having a plan puts your business in the best position to manage and optimize your data at every lifestyle stage.

When you create your data strategy framework, use these components to guide you. 

  • Data collection
  • Data storage
  • Data maintenance
  • Data integration
  • Data purging
  • Data usage and reporting

Let’s talk about data acquisition first. All of the next processes are influenced by the way you collect your data. It’s crucial that you get this correct right away. (Don’t worry, our data-gathering guide was developed to help.)

What does your business do with the data it collects? Data storage aims to provide an answer to that query. Of course, maintenance is necessary to maintain the accuracy of the data. Additionally required is a strong data governance approach.

Let’s go on to discuss data integration. To ensure consistency across the board and eliminate confusion over whether the version is the correct one, make sure to connect data amongst your apps.

But the data lifestyle doesn’t stop there. Your data might eventually become worthless or inaccurate. When this happens, it’s time to finish cleaning the data. By skipping this step, you run the danger of damaging your database’s quality, corrupting other data, or both. Additionally, data cleansing allows you to guarantee that your data is organized and clean.

Congratulations! Once you’ve adjusted these factors, your company will be in the greatest possible position to use your data, such as for data reporting.

If you want to understand more about the data lifecycle, you may read our jargon-free explanation of data lifecycle management.

Data Strategy Must-Haves

There are other data strategy requirements at the organizational level in addition to these fundamental elements of the data strategy framework. Let’s look at those now.

A Distinct Business Plan

Before delving into data, take a step back and start there if your organization doesn’t already have a defined business strategy. You should start there, advises Duggan-Herd, “since your data strategy should support and promote your whole company plan.”

Organizational Buy-In

Executive executives need to understand the importance of a data strategy and be on board for it to be successful. “You will need to clearly describe how a data strategy will help the organization to reach its goals and objectives (i.e., tie it to your business strategy)” argues Duggan-Herd in order to gain the support of top-level organizational executives. “While gaining buy-in frequently takes a lot of effort and persistence, the more people who support your idea, the more likely it is to succeed.”

Commitment to Your Data Strategy

Your organization needs to identify who is in charge of what for your data strategy to be successful. According to Duggan-Herd, “Your strategy should be clear about who is responsible for what with your organization’s data.” “Your plan should contain roles for anybody who utilizes data in any form, not just for those whose primary task it is to implement and enforce your data strategies, such as data engineers, data analysts, and business managers (i.e., sales reps, account managers). Additionally, you need to identify who “owns” each dataset and is in charge of its interpretation, storage, and security.

It’s critical that the firm as a whole is invested in the data strategy, in addition to identifying directly responsible individuals (DRIs) who are committed to it.

A commitment to Data Architecture and Governance

Without data design, it’s simple for data to be mistakenly lost or completely ignored. “A data architecture” describes how your data is maintained and flows from initial collection to intake, storage, analysis, and consumption, according to Duggan-Herd. Data governance is also essential since it guarantees the security and dependability of the data your firm uses.

Key Questions to Answer in Your Data Strategy

The process of gathering, maintaining, and using data is streamlined by an effective strategy. Additionally, you may relax knowing that your operations are looking after your data, making it dependable and safe.

1. Which data is valuable to your organization?

Yes, developing (and implementing) a data strategy framework takes a bit of work, but it will simplify everything. Additionally, your company will utilize its resources efficiently and may possibly experience long-term financial savings. Creating a data strategy is worthwhile regardless of your business’s size or industry. You’ll be better prepared for success if you can respond to these crucial questions. Start with the data items that will be most helpful to your company. You can then decide what details to put in your lead generation forms after you’ve completed that. Evaluate which of the following data types are helpful:

  • Lead data
  • Customer data
  • Website data
  • Social media data
  • Product data
  • Market data

2. Collecting High-Quality Data

Once you’ve determined which data points will be useful, you must make sure they are of a high caliber. CRM data that is inaccurate could even be detrimental. Accurate, comprehensive, pertinent, consistent, timely, and complete data is available. You can use it to make data-driven decisions that will assist your company in achieving its objectives.

3. Storing Data Securely

It’s not enough to just collect data; you also need to manage, analyze, and safeguard it. This is a crucial element of your entire data strategy that is covered by your data governance strategy. Remember to choose a suitable data storage option.

4. Maintaining a Data Source

Data synchronization guarantees compatibility among apps. Your data may cause more harm than benefit if it is incomplete. Consider data synchronization as joining the dots between all of your programs, including your CRM, automation program, and accounting programs. Additionally, it notifies one another of data changes. You will always have access to the most accurate data thanks to real-time updates. Additionally, you won’t need to stress about annoying manual upgrades.

5. Removing Low-Quality or Outdated Data

When we talk about “low-quality data,” we mean information that is false, out-of-date, or otherwise flawed. Your approach should decide:

  • What qualifies as ‘bad data’ to your organization 
  • How you’ll identify it (ideally with automated processes)
  • How you’ll remove it
  • When you will remove it 

Here’s an illustration: You may populate an automated list in your CRM with contacts who have bounced emails. You can recognize DRI if they often scan this list and remove any connections you’re certain you don’t need.

Additionally, you should decide how your business will handle communication opt-outs and the procedure for deleting contact information upon request.

6. Adhering to Data Protection Regulations

Every phase of the life cycle requires consideration for data protection. Your data needs to be secure by design for corporate compliance. Data protection should be a core component of your plan rather than an afterthought. By carrying out the other crucial actions on this list, you can get off to the correct start. Software for GDPR compliance and reading up on best practices can also help make sure your business checks all the boxes.

7. Using Your Data To Your Advantages

Data is stored by organizations primarily for the purpose of turning it into information. (Information is not the same as data.) When data is structured, evaluated, and processed, it becomes information. After that, you can utilize the data to provide intelligent reporting dashboards, support business decisions, and provide customers with the best possible experiences.

When to Start Developing a Data Strategy?

Well, an effective data approach can be implemented at any time. Start by defining the processes your company utilizes for data collection, upkeep, discard, and use. To obtain more knowledge, you can also look at data strategy examples from other businesses to see how they handle their data. The world is changing quickly, and data can help you comprehend how your client’s attitudes and behaviors are changing. This will assist you in determining how your company can serve their interests, address their problems, and/or meet their wants.

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