Understanding what you should include when you develop your data strategy.
In the second part of our data strategy blog series, we take a look at what the basic foundations are of a data strategy, how you develop it, who needs to be involved and how long it takes. If you haven’t yet read our first article, check out Why You Should Develop a Data Strategy.
What do you need to know to develop data strategy?
In order to develop and implement a successful data strategy, you need to answer some key questions first. Do you have buy-in across your organisation? Do you know who needs to be involved? Are you clear on the approval process? Is there a timeline you need to work to or can you be more flexible with times?
And most importantly, is there a budget for the data strategy? Not only do you need to consider your budget for the development stage, but also be aware that you may need some budget to get you going for the implementation before seeking your entire budget. Once you have answers to these questions, you can move onto the Current State Assessment.
Current State Assessment
Understanding where you are today
The first step in developing your data strategy is undertaking your current state assessment. This is your opportunity to find issues and identify opportunities within your organisation in relation to your data strategy. It’s at this stage that you should be asking questions like:
- How will your data strategy help you to achieve your business objectives?
- What are your business drivers?
- What are your key pain points with data?
- What are the business impacts of the pain points?
- What are your current strengths and capabilities that can be built upon?
- What are the opportunities the data strategy can help deliver?
- What are the priority areas to focus on?
- To develop a data strategy that is robust and can survive the test of time within an organisation, it is fundamental that these questions are answered prior to commencing work on your data strategy.
Strategy and Implementation Plan
Understanding the elements of your data strategy
While there are lots of detailed data components such as data quality, metadata etc that need to be considered when developing a data strategy, there are four key components highlighted in the diagram that you must also consider to tie it all together:
- Business drivers including your goals, performance plans and data predictions
- Data governance including information security and risk management
- Organisational capability including culture, competency and transformation
- What architecture supports your data strategy
The basis of any data strategy is that this is a planned way forward, so that your organisation can improve the way it manages and applies data in the future.
Victoria Legal Aid
Victoria Legal Aid were experiencing issues around service planning. They had more people coming for help than what they could provide. They recognised they needed to understand how they could prioritise who got legal aid in the State and how they could they make better use of their services for their clients. They wanted to understand how they could they use data to help identify where the volume or demand was coming from, which lead to them engaging Data Agility to help them develop a data strategy.
“It’s been great working with Data Agility. They have been very motivated to understand the business and to embed alongside our staff and not just engage with senior leadership but to really understand the coal face experience of people who are collecting data and needing to apply it in their everyday work to improve, to understand how effective and efficient and productive they’re being.“
Peter Noble, Executive Director, Victoria Legal Aid
Developing A Data Strategy
Who should be involved?
At Data Agility, we regularly support our clients to develop data strategies. We work with people across an entire organisation, in all divisions, at all levels. Everyone brings a unique perspective to the data strategy and can share what their own challenges are within the organisation when it comes to data.
When developing your own data strategy, we recommend you have a broad representation of people from across your organisation who can bring their own unique perspectives to the process.
How long does it take to develop a data strategy?
At Data Agility, it can take us approximately 3 months to develop a data strategy for our clients. When you are developing your own, we recommend you allow this as the absolute minimum time for development.
During the development phase, it is important to allow time for thorough thought processes and for there to be several iterations of the strategy before it is finalised.
You also need to plan for the approval and implementation phase, which can be a lengthy process for some organisations, depending on your approval processes. Factors to consider are the business cycle and when new projects are approved, what the endorsement process looks like, how often the Board or Executive meet, and your organisation’s funding commitments.
Coming Up Next
A deeper look into the key elements of your data strategy.
Next month, we will dive into how you can develop your Vision, Principles, Governance Framework and Data Strategy. This is the second article in a series of six. If you haven’t yet read our first article, head to Why You Should Develop a Data Strategy.
If you would like assistance to develop your own data strategy in the meantime, contact us today for a no-obligation discussion.