Pieces not coming together?


You have a three-year business strategy


Is it supported by your three-year data management plan?



Simply having information isn't enough. To truly thrive, businesses need a strategic roadmap for managing and utilizing their data. This is where data strategy comes in. It's an extension of your business strategy that outlines how you'll collect, analyze, and leverage your data to achieve specific business goals.

By transforming data into actionable insights, it empowers you to make smarter decisions, optimize operations, and gain a competitive edge

Data management strategy refers to a holistic approach to managing and utilizing data to meet business goals. It involves defining the objectives, identifying data sources, establishing processes, and implementing tools to enable effective data management. A robust data management strategy aligns data initiatives with business goals and ensures sustainable data quality, security, and governance.

What is a data strategy?

It is a comprehensive game plan that outlines how an organization collects, manages, analyses, and leverages data to achieve its business objectives.

We delve into its components, development process, benefits, challenges, and best practices for successful implementation.

Your data strategy extends your business strategy

If your business sees data as a strategic asset then it is clear that your data management strategy must be aligned to and driven by business goals so that:

- It helps to make informed decisions that align with business objectives.
- It enables a business to be competitive and innovative.
- It maximizes the potential of data as a corporate asset.
- It helps to build solutions that span the entire organization.

To this end, a comprehensive game plan must consider and plan for the changes that need to take place across people, processes and technology in order to move the business forward

5 reasons that your data management strategy must be business-first

Drive business innovation

A good strategy enables an organization to be innovative, business users to be effective, and the business to be competitive.

It helps to make timely, data-driven decisions and prepare for the future.

Drive the digital business

Every company should have the goal of evolving into a digitized and data-centric business.

Understanding the need to treat data as a “corporate asset” and maximize it as a source to benchmark and analyze progress and core competitiveness is crucial. Data-centric organizations zero in on insights that may help with mining, cleansing, clustering, and segmenting their data to gain a better understanding of their customers, influences, networks, as well as product insights.

Deliver data foundations

Leaders implement business-first data strategies that build sound data foundations to enable a range of advanced data applications, from advanced analytics to data products,  AI and ML.

HBR: Rethinking data strategies

Align technology and business

A data blueprint aligns a business plan and priorities with technology strategy and capabilities.

To be actionable, the strategy needs to be developed in support of a business objective. It must define critical success factors, stakeholders, and measures to deliver, manage, and evolve the strategy. Ongoing data projects, both analytics and operational, must be incorporated into the overall business strategy.

Align data and business vision

Fully realizing data’s potential requires vision, persuasion, and support. The plan must define the right approach that makes sense of data, aligns with business strategy, and builds solutions that span the entire organization. Creativity and innovative decision-making are table stakes for success.

In conclusion, it is important to note that while your data plan should be an extension of the business strategy, it should also be aligned with the technology strategy and capabilities of the organization.

A comprehensive roadmap should be developed in support of a business objective and should define critical success factors, stakeholders, and measures to deliver, manage, and evolve the strategy.

Modern Data Strategies for AI and Data-Driven Businesses

In this recording, first presented at an AI and Big Data event in Johannesburg in 2022, we talked about:

  1. how to make your strategy relevant and actionable,
  2. the importance of understanding your data culture
  3. discuss some of the prerequisites for AI,
  4. and present our EIM framework for identifying gaps and prioritising your data management roadmap to deliver an actionable strategy.

Advanced analytics capabilities are the most common strategic goals of data strategies. 

Yet, before launching new analytics programs, research from TDWI warns that: "The initial planning of each analytics program and individual analytics application should state clearly the business goals and data requirements to be sure the analytics and its data align with business goals. Without the alignment, few people will perceive a positive ROI, even if the financial numbers corroborate it."

Our core business is the delivery of trusted data and robust data management capabilities.

Without this sound foundation investments in advanced analytics may fail as, according to the same TDWI research, many analytics approaches considered high value by businesspeople are not very successful (or even possible) without considerable support from data management personnel and infrastructure.

We can assist with a practical roadmap to deliver advanced analytics with a full understanding of the fundamentals.

Data Strategies for Accelerating the ROI of Analytics

Data Strategy vs. Data Management

Understanding the difference between data strategy and data management is crucial for organizations aiming to optimize their data-related activities. While strategy and management are interrelated, they serve distinct purposes:

  • Data Strategy: The strategy outlines the overarching goals, objectives, and roadmap for leveraging data as a strategic asset. It involves defining how data will be collected, stored, analyzed, and utilized to drive business outcomes. A data strategy focuses on aligning data initiatives with organizational objectives and ensures that the right data is available to the right people at the right time.

  • Data Management: Data management refers to the operational processes and practices involved in acquiring, storing, organizing, and maintaining data throughout its lifecycle. It encompasses activities such as data governance, data integration, data quality management, and data security. Data management focuses on the tactical implementation and execution of data-related tasks.

While data strategy sets the vision and direction, data management provides the framework and processes to execute that strategy effectively. Both are essential for organizations to unlock the full value of their data assets.

Data-Driven Culture

Building a data-driven culture is a critical aspect of successful data strategy implementation. A data-driven culture encourages organizations to make decisions based on data insights rather than relying solely on intuition or experience.

Data Strategy Implementation

Successful implementation of a data strategy requires careful planning, execution, and ongoing evaluation. Check out our best practices to consider when implementing a data strategy:

Key Components of a Data Strategy

Data strategy components play a crucial role in guiding organizations towards effective data management and utilization. A well-defined data strategy encompasses various key elements that ensure the successful collection, storage, analysis, and governance of data.

These components include:

  1. Data Governance: Establishing robust data governance practices helps organizations maintain data quality, integrity, and security. It involves defining data ownership, accountability, and decision-making processes.

  2. Data Architecture: Developing a solid data architecture enables organizations to design and manage data structures, databases, and systems that support their business objectives. It involves determining data storage, integration, and access mechanisms.

  3. Data Lifecycle Management: Efficient data lifecycle management involves defining processes for data acquisition, transformation, storage, and archival throughout its entire lifespan. This component ensures data is relevant, up-to-date, and accessible when needed.

  4. Data Quality Management: Implementing strategies and tools to monitor, assess, and improve data quality is crucial for organizations to derive accurate insights and make informed decisions. Data quality management includes data profiling, cleansing, and validation techniques.

  5. Data Security and Privacy: Protecting sensitive data from unauthorized access, breaches, and compliance violations is paramount. Data strategy includes security measures like encryption, access controls, data masking, and privacy frameworks to ensure legal and ethical data handling.

By integrating these essential components into their data strategy, organizations can establish a strong foundation for effective data management, governance, and utilization.


What is a data strategy?

A data strategy is a business plan that defines how data will enable the organisation’s business goals. A well-designed strategy can help organisations improve their decision-making processes, drive innovation and new data products, enhance customer experience, and gain a competitive edge in their industry. It includes considerations such as data governance, data quality, data security, data architecture, and data analytics.

What is a data management roadmap?

A data management roadmap is a strategic plan that outlines how an organisation will manage, store, protect, and use its data assets to achieve its business goals. It typically includes a prioritised set of objectives, tasks, and milestones that need to be achieved to improve the overall data management capabilities of the organisation. It provides a clear vision of the future state of data management in the organisation and helps to guide decision-making and resource allocation.

Why is a data strategy important?

A data management strategy and road map provide a clear direction for managing an organisation's data assets. They help to align data initiatives with business objectives, prioritize data-related projects, and ensure that resources are being used effectively. Additionally, they provide a framework for implementing best practices and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations. Overall, a data management strategy and road map can help an organisation maximise the value of its data assets and achieve its business goals.

Who is responsible for developing the data blueprint?

Developing a data blueprint is a collaborative effort that involves multiple stakeholders within an organization. This may include executives, line-of-business managers, IT professionals, data analysts, and other team members who are involved in collecting, managing, and utilising data. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of executive leadership to ensure that the strategy and roadmap are in place to support the organization's goals and objectives.

Your plan can benefit your business in many ways, including:

  • Aligning data investments and business goals;
  • Enables managing data as an enterprise asset with less waste;
  • Improved data quality and accuracy;
  • Enhanced data security and privacy;
  • Increased efficiency in data collection and management;
  • More effective decision-making based on reliable data;
  • Better compliance with data protection regulations;
  • Delivery of new data products;
  • Ensuring that data supports new business applications;
  • and more

What are some common challenges when developing a data management strategy and roadmap?

Common challenges for delivery include: 

  • Aligning the strategy with business goals and objectives;
  • Understanding data management gaps and where to start:
  • Ensuring data quality and accuracy:
  • Managing data security and privacy concerns:
  • Establishing a data-driven culture within the organization:
  • Determining the resources needed to implement the strategy and roadmap

How do I get started with developing a data management strategy and roadmap?

To get started with developing your data strategy you should:

  • Define your business goals and objectives; 
  • Identify the types of data that are needed to achieve those goals;
  • Determine how the data will be collected, stored, and managed;
  • Establish processes for ensuring data quality and accuracy;
  • Develop a plan for data analysis and utilization;
  • Establish data security and privacy policies;
  • Create a detailed roadmap that outlines specific milestones and timelines for implementation

How can I ensure that my data management strategy and roadmap is successful?

Best practices to ensure that your data management strategy gap is successful, include:

  • Define your business goals and objectives;
  • Identify the types of data that are needed to achieve those goals;
  • Determine how the data will be collected, stored, and managed;
  • Establish processes for ensuring data quality and accuracy;
  • Develop a plan for data analysis and utilization;
  • Establish data security and privacy policies;
  • Create a detailed roadmap that outlines specific milestones and timelines for implementation

Get Started Today!


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