Elevating Data To The Strategic Level

Strategic data conversations

On 11 November, we held a panel discussion – “Elevating Data to the Strategic Level”. We held this event because there’s a problem with the way we talk about data. Whilst 90% of S&P market cap is attributed to intangible assets, of which a significant proportion is data, only 30% of organisations have a well-articulated data strategy.

Whilst everyone knows that data is incredibly valuable to their organisation, these statistics show that data isn’t given a strategic narrative. Instead, it often gets discussed in terms of short-term, tactical point solutions.

This means that data investment isn’t focussed or prioritised, resulting in further data disappointment down the line as organisations juggle multiple failing transformation projects.

Inevitably, business data frustrations grow deeper.

Our panellists spoke at great length about how to elevate data to the strategic level and what CDOs can do to break this cycle of data disappointment.

Our highlights were:

Bringing people together delivers the most powerful insights

The most powerful insights come from bringing together multiple data sources.

Imagine synthesising sales, customer, and product data to improve the customer journey. This is a challenging task because there is an inevitable gap across the business between data expectations and reality.

What investment and skills do we need? How long will it take to deliver results? Are our competitors moving faster on data than we are?

The CDO needs to understand these different data perspectives, from board-level down, so they can manage stakeholders effectively and align resources to deliver results.

The opportunities are endless, but we must pick the right ones

How can this be done most efficiently? CDOs can build excellent relationships with the board by underlining the opportunities that can be realised through data. This is a critical skill. 

Through exciting the board, the CDO is rewarded with the investment and project authorisation they need to deliver their strategy. Often, very senior individuals do not come from technical backgrounds, so to achieve this excitement, CDOs need to talk about data in terms of business opportunities, avoiding the technical data jargon that feels most familiar.

Prioritisation is the key to execution

The next steps for a CDO are to focus and prioritise effectively.

Tackling data enterprise-wide can often feel like boiling the ocean, so the board need to know which levers they can pull and where they should focus investment to increase the organisation’s chances of long-term success. 

This means that data strategies must start with an understanding of the priority business or end-consumer problems and then tailoring a solution. 

Though it is tempting to use resources on the most interesting and exciting projects, actions that directly solve the biggest business problem will be what gets the organisation excited about the value of data.

We hope you enjoyed this summary and will join us for our future events. Get in touch, if you’re interested in having a strategic conversation about your organisation’s data.