Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

data strategy-min

Being data-driven is no longer an option, but a necessity for driving organizational growth and innovation. Data should be at the heart of a company’s business strategy. A data-driven company is more agile and adaptable, and can weather uncertainties and market disruptions better.

To reap the full benefits of data, a robust, efficient, and holistic enterprise data strategy which cuts across all parts of the business such as technology, cloud, infrastructure, organization and skills.

According to a research study by Cloudera, in partnership with technology market research expert, Vanson Bourne, organizations with mature enterprise data strategies report higher profit growth than those with newer strategies. Those with an enterprise strategy in place for longer than a year outperform those who plan to implement one in the next 12 months and those with newer strategies. And it is not just profit growth that an enterprise data strategy can drive – effective extraction, consolidation and management of data generated across functions can be translated into critical insights that optimize business operations and performance.

The study revealed some interesting insights:

  • 73% of IT decision makers (ITDMs) report their data strategy as successful if it has been in place for more than a year, versus only 19% of those less than a year
  • Surveyed senior decision makers (SDMs) with an enterprise data strategy in place for more than a year report that the way in which data is handled and managed within their organizations has positively impacted organizational performance, with 72% reporting stronger resiliency from the presence of a mature data strategy.
  • SDMs also shared that an average of USD 52,939 in revenue was lost annually due to missed opportunities involving data.

Why patience is key

Introducing and implementing a data strategy across a business from scratch takes time, and results may not be immediately apparent. Organizations need to understand that the journey is a marathon and not a sprint, and that an organization’s data strategy needs to keep evolving with its priorities and the business landscape. Organizations with enterprise data strategies in place for over a year reported that those strategies were very effective, while for those with plans in place for less than 12 months, only 30% report the same.

It’s critical to have an actionable plan

A data strategy needs to be actionable for organizations to achieve the best results with their data. Business goals, timelines and performance metrics need to be clearly defined, which allows business leaders to determine if their data strategy is working or if changes need to be made. Here’s where having a well-defined roadmap becomes essential.

Both SDMs and ITDMs need to be aware and prepared for challenges along the way – the vast majority (97%) of ITDMs and SDMs (98%) surveyed reported at least one experienced or anticipated challenge when implementing an enterprise data strategy. Regardless, organizations need to understand that the benefits far outweigh the challenges and that sustaining a data strategy is a long-term project.

Prevention is always better than cure

The pandemic has changed the way business is conducted. Lockdowns, supply chain disruptions and other restrictions have impacted business continuity. However, having a data strategy in place can mitigate some of the risks. Enterprises which had a strategy in place for a year or more reportedly handled the effects of the pandemic “very well” 72% of the time. This was more than the 45% of respondents from organizations with an enterprise data strategy in place for less than a year who responded the same.

The far-reaching effects of the pandemic have shown that enterprises need to be agile and enhance their resiliency to ensure business continuity. Leveraging data allows them to adapt quickly to changing market conditions. A robust data strategy ensures that an enterprise is well-positioned to cope with any major challenges or fluctuations in the world.

Vinod G

Contributed by

Vinod Ganesan, Country Manager, Cloudera India

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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