Building the Foundation for Your Data Analytics Strategy

Data is becoming continually more accessible to businesses of all sizes. But just because organizations can use data doesn’t mean they’re automatically going to go about it the right way. This is why building the foundation for your data analytics strategy is so essential.

develop your data analytics strategy
Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Pasuwan

Get the Right People

Who’s on your analytics team is going to play a huge role in determining the success of your efforts. You can’t just go out and randomly hire a few people who sound like they’ve worked with data in the past. Each member of your organization needs to play a specific role. Without this, there’s going to be a lot of wasted effort.

So, what positions are you going to need in order to build an analytics team? That partially depends on your organization. If you’re a new company with little excess capital, you’re going to want to stick with analysts and scientists. Analysts wear several hats and find insights through manipulating data. A scientist has a bit more expertise, possibly in machine learning.

More established organizations will want to consider also hiring engineers, managers, and possibly a director for the data program. These individuals will all be involved in high-level applications, such as determining the best ways to use software, developing accessory programs, and guiding the rest of the team.

As with any hire, the people themselves are paramount to your success. Make sure everyone you bring on—especially when establishing your data team—is the right fit.

Establish Your Goals & Get Everyone Onboard

Before you start working with data, you need to determine what you want to do with it. Some people assume they’ll figure this out after they’ve started collecting data. But how can you know what data to look at if you don’t have a plan or goals?

It’s a good idea to see how other organizations are using data to their advantage. Many use analytics to build better marketing campaigns. Others optimize their supply chains or warehouse management. No matter how you want to use it, it’s important to establish objectives for your data strategy ahead of time. Then, once you’ve found success with those, you can start branching out into other applications.

It’s also imperative to get everyone on board — the C-suite, IT, marketing, etc. Failing to get buy-in from every level of your business will hinder your data analytics strategy, especially adoption rates. You’ll meet major resistance and diminish your ROI if you skip this step.

You don’t want to rush into data analytics without laying down some serious groundwork in this area first. Your analytics program is a big investment and the results you get from it are going to have huge implications for your business. Move forward only with goals and buy-in from employees.

Choose Tools that Fit Your Needs

Focusing on the previous two sections will be a waste of time if you rush through this one. Not all BI tools are the same. It’s essential you choose ones that will facilitate your enterprise’s ability to carry out its data goals. Building and deploying your data strategy on a platform like ThoughtSpot will simplify data modeling—while also ensuring scalability, embeddable visualizations and dashboards, and other features that can help your company realize its objectives.

Ensure Data Is Ingrained into Your Culture

Data shouldn’t just be the thing that’s done by people in the analytics department. It should be the grounding force of your entire organization. While that might sound extreme, you’re not going to receive nearly as many benefits from your data analytics strategy if it’s not accepted throughout the company.

Some executives, the people who need to be most on-board with data utilization, can be reluctant to give up control. There are several reasons for this, ranging from misguidance to egotism. When you’re implementing a data-first approach, all executives and management need to get on board with this. If the leaders the company aren’t showing the way, the rest of the employees aren’t going to follow. To get the most out of your data, it needs to be built into the genetic code of your organization and the whole decision-making process.

Modern data practices are changing the way businesses do things. It’s essential your organization builds a strong base when adopting its strategic data plan.