We are living in a world where we use data to drive many of our important business decisions. There is more data available to us now than we know what to do with and we are constantly looking for a way to gather and use it. The IDC estimates that businesses will have spent over $150 billion this year on big data and data analytics. There is no question what value the data can bring us, yet there are often many questions about the strategies we are using to collect and utilize this data.
I recently read an article on Harvard Business Review claiming only 3% of companies’ data meets basic quality standards. While startling, I don’t find this to be abnormal. I have worked with several organizations who jumped on the data bandwagon without a clear strategy as to what they would do with the data they collected.
When thinking about how to create a clear data strategy I find the following questions to be useful:
- What metrics are most important to the performance of our company?
- What are our goals for these metrics?
- How will we track and display actual performance vs. desired performance?
- What are our gaps in performance between the two?
- What kind of data do I need to collect to support the gaps?
- What am I going to do with the data? What is my end goal for collecting the data?
By having a clearly defined strategy for collecting data, leaders can communicate this strategy and the importance of the data to the people they are asking to collect it. This alignment will help highlight the importance of the goals around driving down costs, reducing quality issues, improving customer satisfaction and improving safety performance, to name a few. In addition to this, we will empower those we are asking to execute the improvements by looking at the data in a way that will get us the desired results.
Without question, investing in data collection and/or analysis and using it to drive business results in an ever-growing competitive world warrants the level of investments being made. Tying it all together with a clear strategy and communicating it to all parties involved will help you get the most out of your data investment.
No matter what stage you are at with your data strategy, if you need an advisor, guide, or a pair of hands to help, please contact SDI by Clicking Here.