With data increasingly becoming a company’s most valuable asset, it should come as no surprise that today’s businesses cannot be truly competitive—and safe from bad actors—without an effective, well-thought-out data management strategy.

Do you know yours?

If you think your company could benefit from more advanced data practices and want an understanding on what success looks like, look no further. Below we offer key requirements for building a successful data strategy as covered in a recent Forbes article by author, futurist, and advisor Bernard Marr.:

  • Business Strategy: A sound data strategy supports the overall business strategy. Knowing your company’s business objectives and key challenges is a necessary step when determining how to use data to support your goals. From there, put three to five use cases in action to help drive your business.
  • Short-Term Adoption Priorities: Identify three to five “quick wins” to help gain adoption and organizational buy-in for your data analytics initiatives. Quick wins need not be costly and should show a clear and fast ROI for the company.
  • Data Requirements: Do you have the data you need? This is a critical question to answer, and one that may require you to look externally—maybe to data marketplaces. Make sure you also have the capabilities for your people to easily access and act upon data to support your goals.
  • Data Governance: Quality, security, privacy, and ownership are all areas that need to be managed when it comes to using data. Virtually every company today needs some form of data governance, and this is only likely to increase in the future.
  • Technology Implications: As data-driven decisions become more necessary, companies will need to adopt the right technology solutions to make it easier to collect, store, and process data—and communicate the insights gained quickly across the organization.
  • Skills and Capacity: Do you have the skills you need to support your data strategy? A thorough evaluation of current skills should be part of your strategy, giving you the information you need to fill the gaps by either hiring externally or helping existing people advance and evolve their current skill sets. This effort should also extend up into the C-Suite to help company leadership keep up and play a role.
  • Implementation and Change Management Issues: Knowing how to actually implement your plan, and who’s going to do what is the last critical step—or the first before you get started. When it’s time to put your strategy in action, make sure your people know what they need to do and don’t forget to be open to making changes as needed.

To learn more, see how Money Center Bank cut its time to market in half by improving data quality in this case study.