Creating a strategy for the data in an organization is not a straightforward task. Not only does our business change – our software solutions also change before we can ever get done with a data strategy. So, I choose to understand that a strategy has a vision, and my vision may change over time. There are specific categories involved in any data strategy, and understanding the risks and concerns may help you deal with constant changes in the organization. Some of the categories you should address in a data strategy are data integration and data governance.
I consider data integration the hardest thing to ever complete, for any organization. The reason we never complete it is because we purchase software solutions and then we must feed, love and nurture that software. We create redundant data stores to feed these software solutions, and then we end up creating data stores and data streams to feed other software solutions. (For example, data warehouses, operational data stores and services). To top it off, we buy or get bought by other companies. So data integration has to take on another form. Consider these suggestions:
- Accept change – it will always happen.
- Prepare for change – follow best practices in your data strategy. This should include minimizing data redundancy as much as possible, having a vision based on subject areas, and creating a road map that shows new solutions as well as how you will sunset older solutions.
Question: Is a data strategy part of data governance, or is data governance a component of data strategy? If data governance encompasses the controls that ensure data quality, that enforce and monitor business rules, and that addresses the integrity of production data, then I consider data governance part of my data strategy. Be aware, though: Data governance needs to start small and embrace change. Start by recognizing how data governance fits into an overall data strategy vision, and off you go!
Find out more about what data strategy can do for your organization in this EIU report.