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  • Writer's pictureRachel Morgan

Building a business-driven data strategy

Updated: May 30, 2023

Many businesses want to become more data-driven and recognise that they need to have a data strategy in place to build data capability to make that a reality.

A mistake that we see happening regularly is that data gets outsourced to the data teams, they build models, develop tech capability and processes but the business still isn't closer to becoming data-driven.

A data strategy shouldn't be purely the responsibility of the data scientist, IT or even start with data, but it needs to start with the business ambition to ensure what is being developed is actually going to be used and deliver impact.

Data needs to be seen as a strategic tool, not as an add-on or pigeonholed into the 'data' team. This requires the business to develop a data mindset to have a better understanding of how the data strategy should be developed.

Start with business ambition

Where do you want to be in the next 3 years?

  • Is it financial growth?

  • Increase market size?

  • International footprint?

  • Becoming market leaders?

  • Delivering exceptional service?

Then think about data

How could data be used to support the ambition? Where would the biggest impact be?

'Strategic planning based on historic trends and predictive modelling to determine where the biggest opportunities are'

'A marketing strategy that is customer-centric focusing on the value of a customer to differentiate message throughout the customer journey'

'Customer development plan based on a segmented audience to deliver differentiated products or services'

What data is actually needed to be able to achieve this, what insight needs to be conducted and who is going to produce it? What potential impact will this make to the business if you had this?

What needs to be done to make this happen?

This is often where data projects start to feel difficult and can start losing momentum as accessing the data might not be easy to achieve, it can take too long to produce and doesn’t actually provide the insight you need.

A data strategy aim is to improve your capabilities over-time, it worth investing time in understanding what data you need, how to overcome barriers and prioritising the jobs to be done.

What is stopping you from achieving it?

  • Not enough resource, too busy working on other things

  • The data doesn’t exist or poor quality

  • There aren't processes in place to make it happen

  • We haven't got the right tools

Or :

  • It's not been done like that before

  • There is no appreciation within the business of what data is available or how difficult the request is

  • No-one owns data in the business

Data strategy Objective

Understanding your businesses ambition, determining how data can support it and then understanding the barriers that are needed to be overcome to achieve that, will shape what the objective is for your data strategy.

Creating a template to help document where the focus of your data strategy is.

This can feel like a big task but it will provide clarity around what the focus is for data and insights, enable you to use your data and technical resources more effectively and most importantly create a common objective for using data across the organisation.

If this is something you need support in building, we can work through our framework with you to determine the data strategy for your organisation. For more information on our services, email or book a discovery call


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