The Corporate Data Strategy (CDS) is an enterprise plan of action used by an organization to define what data it will collect, store, analyze, and use to achieve its goals. The Chief Data Officer, Chief of Data Governance, or equivalent creates the CDS. When done correctly, the Corporate Data Strategy will be directly tied to the corporate strategy. It should have objectives and key results (OKRs) which are traceable to OKRs at the C-level of the organization. The CDS should provide for enterprise and business unit/regional alignment of critical and strategic activities regarding data.
Data strategy goes beyond identifying data needs but focuses on ensuring it is used effectively and efficiently to create value and competitive advantage. The Data Strategy aligns an organization's data practices and processes with its corporate objectives.
An effective Corporate Data Strategy will identify the data products, pipelines, domains, assets, elements, architectures, and technologies required for success. These will be defined in alignment with Corporate and Business Unit Strategies and Governed by an Enterprise Data Council with C-level support and commitment. Successful organizations use the Corporate Data Strategy to achieve critical business goals such as improving the customer experience, increasing/optimizing revenue and expense, enhancing innovation, and driving digital transformation.
A data strategy should align with the overall vision and mission of the organization, as well as its specific objectives and challenges. A data strategy should also consider the internal and external stakeholders' needs and expectations, who rely on data for decision-making, innovation, and improvement. (e.g., customers, employees, partners, regulators, and competitors).
A data strategy should answer questions such as:
What critical business problems or opportunities can data help address?
What data do we need and why?
What current and future data sources and types are relevant for the organization based on strategic and operational goals?
How do we organize, govern, and secure data?
How do we acquire, integrate, and maintain data quality?
How do we analyze, visualize, and communicate data insights?
How do we measure and optimize the impact of data on our performance?
What tools, platforms, and infrastructure are necessary?
How will the data be collected, processed, stored, accessed, analyzed, and shared?
What are the skills, roles, and responsibilities of the data team and other data users across the organization?
How will the data strategy be measured and evaluated regarding its impact and value?
A data strategy should also include a roadmap defining priorities, resources, roles, and responsibilities for implementing and managing data initiatives. A data strategy should be flexible and adaptable to changing business needs and market conditions. It is a living document.
A data strategy is vital for your business because it can help you:
Gain a deeper understanding of your customers, products, services, processes, and competitors.
Identify new opportunities for growth, innovation, and differentiation.
Enhance your operational efficiency, productivity, and quality.
Reduce costs, risks, and errors.
Improve your customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.
Increase your revenue, profitability, and market share.
A data strategy can also help you foster a data-driven culture in your organization, where data is valued as a strategic asset, and everyone is empowered to use data to make informed decisions and actions.
A data strategy is not a one-time project but a dynamic and iterative process that evolves with the changing needs and circumstances of the organization. A data strategy should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure its relevance and effectiveness. A data strategy should also be communicated and aligned with all levels of the organization to foster a data-driven culture and mindset.
In conclusion, data strategy is crucial to digital transformation and business success in the modern world. By developing and executing a data strategy that aligns with your goals and challenges, you can leverage the power of data to create value and competitive advantage for your organization.