Uncovering the Impact of Data Excellence

Brian Henn
Blog Post
December 29, 2023
Uncovering the Impact of Data Excellence
AI & Data

As digital capabilities continue to transform the way businesses operate, data has quickly become one of the most important assets within an organization, second only to its people. The strategic implementation of high-quality data has a direct influence on pivotal business decisions and innovations, and acts as a catalyst for company growth.  

High-performing organizations stand out from their competitors by effectively planning prior to implementing a data program. They work on gaining an important understanding of the impact that data excellence can have on their business—and they plan accordingly to make the most of the program.  

At the heart of effective data planning are a handful of key considerations, included below, that not only steer the course of implementation but also serve as critical drivers for achieving unparalleled data excellence.

Planning for a Successful Data Program

A successful implementation of a data program will include meaningful time and attention spent considering the following core areas:

1. Strategic Alignment

Aligning data initiatives with business objectives is an important step in the planning process. Conducting intakes with a variety of business stakeholders, including the executive leadership team, marketing, human resources, IT, and finance, will contribute to the creation of a clear and well-defined data strategy. Gathering points of views from across the business ensures that the strategy that gets outlined is comprehensive and directly supports collective company goals. Goals relative to an organization’s data program can and do vary but typically include a flavor of the following: improving the customer experience, increasing operational efficiency, driving innovation, or data monetization.   

2. Resource Allocation

Effectively allocating existing resources and understanding the additional investment required to maximize a data program means strategically mapping and planning in order to assemble the right team and mix of technology. Resource allocation also includes the evaluation of existing data technologies, reports and extract, and transform and load processes—all of which help inform a comprehensive budget, inclusive of additional data-related tools, technologies, or talent to help implement and support the program.   

3. Agile Data Management

A rapidly evolving business landscape requires an agile data project. Establishing a flexible plan allows an organization to adapt to evolving business needs with an ability to incorporate new data sources and technologies in real-time. The development of more agile and mature cloud technologies has enabled organizations to deliver data projects more efficiently and rapidly than ever before.   

4. Measurable Goals and KPIs

Evaluating the success of a data project is critical for identifying necessary adjustments that will keep the project on track. Establish measurable goals and key performance indicators prior to implementing the initiative to create a baseline that will immediately assist in tracking a measurable return on investment throughout the project.   

Achieving Data Excellence

Achieving data excellence is a paramount objective for organizations seeking to harness the full potential of their data assets. It encompasses a multifaceted approach that demands a commitment to accuracy, consistency, and relevance in data management.  

To attain data excellence, organizations must first cultivate a culture that values data as a strategic asset. This involves fostering a mindset where data quality is a collective responsibility upheld at all levels of the organization. Robust data governance frameworks, clear policies, and standardized procedures are all imperative to ensure data integrity and compliance. Investing in state-of-the-art technologies for data collection, storage, and analysis is equally crucial. Regular training programs to enhance data literacy among employees contribute to a workforce capable of making informed decisions. Furthermore, organizations should continuously evaluate and update their data strategies to align with evolving business needs and technological advancements.  

In essence, achieving data excellence requires a holistic and dynamic approach, integrating people, processes, and technology to foster a data-driven culture that fuels innovation and strategic decision-making. Data excellence also requires:

1. Data Quality

Data excellence requires the prioritization of accurate, reliable, and relevant data. This, instead of the prioritization of volumes of data. Data quality means organizing and maintaining data, resulting in impactful and trustworthy insights that enables the organization to make more informed decisions. A company operating on high-quality data means the ability to continuously and proactively adjust based on that data.  Naturally, this positively impacts both the revenue and profitability of the company.

2. Data Governance

Establishing ongoing data governance policies is essential for maintaining the integrity of the data. This entails defining clear roles and responsibilities for the project, documenting data standards that foster accountability, and maintaining compliance within the necessary regulations. Documenting this framework creates an atmosphere of consistent and effective data management.  

3. Data Integrations

Effectively integrating data from various systems and platforms creates a unified view of company data. Integrated data from across an organization also allows for more comprehensive analyses and insights. Creating efficient data pipelines in order to move and integrate data is also important. Quality coding and deployment processes play a key role in delivering high-quality data on time and require minimal manual intervention, maintenance, and support.  

4. Data Security

With the ongoing and increased frequency of cyber threats, safeguarding sensitive data should be a non-negotiable in every organization. Implementing robust security measures not only protects the confidentiality and privacy of valuable information but allows the company to stay vigilant against cyber threats.

Data excellence and data planning are vital and inseparable components of a successful strategic data management program. By aligning data initiatives with the overarching strategic goals of the business, organizations will unlock the full potential of their data.  

In a digital era where proactive data-driven insights gain competitive advantages, planning for and prioritizing data excellence will position any organization as an industry leader. Innovation, vigilance, and being planful—in all things but especially when it comes to data—means sustainable, long-term success. 

BUILT’s digital transformation experts are ready to assist you on your data excellence journey. Contact us today: www.builtglobal.com/contact.

About the author, Brian Henn, Partner at BUILT and Head of Solution Delivery: Brian is a proven IT leader with a broad depth of experience serving clients across many industry verticals. Focused most recently on banking and retail clients, helping them to think in new and innovative ways to allow data, specifically strategic data management initiatives and architecture, to become a trusted, secure, and monetized asset for their organization.

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