In my experience, companies commonly lack understanding of the role of data in their business. To those of us who have careers in data, it seems quite clear that data is the foundational layer behind all business processes. But business leaders sometimes struggle to make the connection between the two. More business leaders are starting to see the value in Information Governance but many fail to really see that the building blocks of everything comes down to the data itself.
Think of it this way: someone has to create a customer before they can bill a customer, the bill has to be received before payment can be made, and payment has to be received before revenue can grow, and so the process goes…. Data is populated and/or consumed in every step of this process so it’s easy to see there is a major need for data integrity, accuracy and trustworthiness, after all, if the wrong customer is billed or the bill is sent to the wrong address – the revenue can’t grow.
A disconnect exists because processes are made to be flexible and should be able to fill a “need it now” request, while data seems rigid and at times, painstaking to get right. This can cause major frustration within a business because developing processes which run smoothly and efficiently is difficult enough, causing accurate data to be an afterthought or a complete miss. To truly see business transformation, an Information Governance Strategy that addresses the data integrity and sustainability must be put in place.
So, how do we help business leaders develop an investment in data and deploy a successful Digital Information Strategy? Here are some tips:
- Data needs to meet a business requirement
- Data as a whole needs to make the business operationally more efficient
- Solution Architecture needs to support the needs of the business and be able to offer a positive UX that meets business demands while also minimizing any additional “noise”
- Data inputs need to be scalable across multiple process scenarios.
Developing an investment in data can be a daunting task and generally requires a major event to spur the realization of the importance of data. With that being said, it is important to message data as a facilitator as opposed to an inhibitor. DATUM helps clients develop their business case for deploying Information Governance programs. You can find Best Practices for Building a Business Case in a recent blog post.