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Why a data strategy is key to business success in 2021

Bilde av Torstein Brauter
by Torstein Brauter

22. Jun 2021, 5 minutes reading time

Why a data strategy is key to business success in 2021

Technology is developing faster than ever, and many businesses – particularly smaller and mid-sized companies – feel they are struggling to keep up with the pace. Do you feel at a loss with your own data efforts? Here is why a data strategy is the key to success.

For too many organizations, once-promising data initiatives and efforts have simply fizzled out. Quite often, this happened because they were essentially science projects – sandbox exercises that might be interesting to a select few, but not very useful in the end. Simply put: They lacked direction and a clear goal. The solution? A data strategy.


Bridging the gap

Previously we have talked a lot about how a data-driven culture is a necessary prerequisite for harnessing the power of data. Having a data strategy is another. 

A data strategy is really about bridging your organization’s use of data to the overarching business strategy – connecting insight to actual business needs. A data strategy ensures that working with data is no longer merely interesting, it is profitable. 

In large part, it is about how we can use data to better understand ourselves, the market, and our competitors. What does the data tell us about our pains and possibilities? What are we doing right – and what are we doing wrong? Essentially: It is about directing your data efforts towards where it matters most.


The measure of success

Without a data strategy, you are working blindfolded. Or at least, you are left trusting an ever-fallible intuition. And while you may have the right tools, pursuing technology for the sake of technology, is more often than not a dead-end – or at least a detour. So do not just ask yourself if your organization is doing interesting or cutting-edge data work, but if it is important. Does it feel important?

Success should not be measured in simply having the newest, shiniest piece of equipment, but rather if the output is demonstrably making your business a little bit better than it was yesterday. And you may find that what actually creates value, is not the tool or solution you would expect.


Strategy as a roadmap

Being able to transform raw and/or different types of data into information is naturally a key characteristic of a data-driven company. But only through a data strategy can this information actually tell you where and how you need to improve as it pertains to your business goals. Also, chances are you would not have collected and transformed the right data in the first place, were it not for the data strategy.

Because a data strategy is first and foremost a roadmap. It gives you a direction. Having more information about yourself, the competition and the market conditions is all good, but it becomes all the more valuable when you know where you are heading.


Some tips for the road

The bottom line is that it is never about the data itself, but how you can use data to fuel your business strategy. How you can learn to run a little bit faster, and achieve a little bit more. 

To achieve this, you need a data strategy anchored at the top – embraced by an organizational data-enthusiastic culture. Prioritize your business needs, learn from similar companies, and remember that good enough most of the time is indeed good enough. Do not let grand ideas get in the way of staying nimble and agile. 

And if you feel you are struggling to keep up in a competitive market, where the technological arms race is moving faster than ever, start by charting a course. 

After all, if you are afraid of getting lost, what is better than a map?

How to make more strategic corporate decisions based on data

Torstein Brauter

Torstein Brauter

Torstein Brauter is the Head of Sales & Marketing at BI Builders. With 5 years in Microsoft and experience across development, operations and enterprise sales, Torstein has extensive knowledge on how companies can digitize using data as a strategic asset. He is curious and restless by nature and prefers to spend his free time skiing, riding a motorcycle or just spending time with family and friends.

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