In 2022, it’s difficult to ignore your data. Data has found its way into business strategy and operations. We have heard the data buzzwords, like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and algorithms. And yet, many organizations feel stuck on where to begin. Last week, we held a Data Workshop with Dustin Elery, Practice Director of Data & Analytics at CSpring. Dustin shares the importance of identifying your “why” for data before jumping to the buzzwords. If you are feeling stuck on where to begin, here are five steps Dustin outlines to begin your data journey.
Have you ever seen “Start with why – how great leaders inspire action” by Simon Sinek? Trust us, it’s worth the watch. Dustin references Simon’s video to highlight “by ‘why’ I mean: what’s your purpose?” What is your organization’s end goal, and how can data help you achieve this? Once you can identify the “why,” then you can start to imagine achieving the mission.
After identifying the “why” for data, it is time to turn to business operations. Where are you utilizing your people, process, and technology? Are there areas in your organization that would benefit from building efficiencies? Are your employees doing work that can be automated, such as data entry? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to identify data priorities.
What are the foundational processes driving your business, and what do I wish I knew about them? By identifying these four data strategies, you will begin to reveal where you can invest in data. Capture and storage understand how to find and store your data. Quality defines how to improve data integrity, accuracy, and trustworthiness. Governance is assigning what data is accessible to who, and for how long? And finally, Culture is outlining your organization’s environment to have your data fit in.
It’s easy to focus on the short-term cost. Optimizing your data has a big sticker price up-front. However, imagine giving work that’s meant for data, to data, and work meant for people, to people? It may be unclear the number of possibilities for automation. Maintaining an open dialogue with your office will encourage employees to speak up on the work that could be automated, so they can get back to adding value in other areas.
No one expects you to be an expert in everything. Data strategy can be complex and overwhelming when you are looking at the big picture. Don’t hesitate to reach out to consulting groups or a trusted vendor to help map out your data journey. CSpring is happy to continue this conversation, which you can email here.