Charting The Data Wilderness With Better Data Strategy

What If You Had Better Data?

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This is part 2 of a three part post on data quality and data strategy. See part 1 and part 3.

Do you wish that you had better quality data or that you were able to use more of your data?

Are you missing important business insights locked away in this data?

It turns out that just having a lot of data isn’t very helpful, it needs to be good data.

A Path To Better Data

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Improving your data strategy can help you transform your data into good data.

What is Data Strategy?

Data strategy is about managing all aspects of your data better including how data is created, stored, accessed, and utilized.

Why You Need Better Data Strategy

Improving your data strategy will make it easier to get the information that you need when you need it. It will reduce errors and unnecessary work. It will improve reporting consistency and the quality of the data in your systems.

What Better Data Strategy Will Do For Your Company

In the short term it will improve company reporting, business intelligence and basic analytics, providing significant business value. In the long run you’ll be in a better position take advantage of more advanced analytics, obtain deeper insights, and develop predictive tools to take your company to the next level.

Making Incremental Changes

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Trying to implement a comprehensive data strategy can be overwhelming, but you don’t need to tackle everything at once. You can improve your data strategy incrementally.

Start With What You Know

Most companies have a core set of data that they report on often (think sales or headcount). Ask yourself: Are there any challenges with this data that you can address? How difficult is it to get and use this data? Are their known consistency or accuracy issues? Can you improve your reporting and analysis by addressing these issues?

Continue With What you Need

Identify a set of functions or processes that you need to understand better. Work backwards to the data you need to inform this understanding. Much of this data will be familiar, but the rest will take you into pioneer territory where you’ll have the opportunity to improve more of your data.

Acknowledge That Data Pioneering Is Unpredictable

Be sure to allow enough time for data verification and cleaning. It’s better to be pleasantly surprised than to commit to deadlines you can’t meet due to unforeseen data quality issues. It’s safest to assume that any data that hasn’t been used before isn’t good data.

Get To Know Your Data

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No matter what the next big technology trend is, getting your data in order and under control will allow you to thoroughly understand your business processes, help you make better decisions and take advantage of new technology.

It’s important to realize that you don’t need to tackle everything at once. Try an incremental approach: start with what you know and add what you need.

Is your company struggling with data challenges? Contact me at stacey@arielanalytics.com to find out how Ariel Analytics can help.

About the Photos: Acadia National Park, Maine
Thoughts:  Acadia is a great choice for east coast hiking with beautiful views of the ocean. Most of the hiking is moderate but for the slightly more adventurous there’s the Beehive Trail. If you’re looking for more of a challenge try the Precipice Trail which will take you up the cliff face, with iron rungs to climb and iron bars as hand holds along ledges. Make sure to get there before (or after) the peregrine falcons!

Have a data or analytics question that you’d like to see answered here? Email your questions to stacey@arielanalytics.com.

Beehive Trail

Beehive Trail

Precipice Trail

Precipice Trail