What Do Business Leaders Need to Know About Data Strategy?

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Click to learn more about author Gary McCarthy.

Despite significant investments in Data Management, data problems persist in many organizations. One reason for this is the view of data as a technology project rather than a corporate asset. As such, most enterprises do not have a defined Data Management plan and are therefore not able to harness the full capability of their data. It may even end up being a liability to them. This is why business leaders need to take their time and formulate a Data Strategy.

An effective Data Strategy provides a company with a clear way to manage its data, from its collection, storage, management, use, and sharing. It does so by the creation of realistic goals and stipulating a clear path on how to attain them. Below are important tips that business leaders should take into consideration for their data strategies to bear fruit.

1. Use the Pareto Principle to Prioritize Your Efforts

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The Pareto Principle states that 80 percent of your results will come from 20 percent of your efforts. This means that for your Data Strategy, you should zone in on the efforts that promise the maximum yields. For instance, business leaders encountering Data Science may find themselves drawn and even intimidated by buzzing topics like machine learning, deep learning, and AI, ignoring the more basic and productive areas like data infrastructure, data analysis, IT Asset Disposal, and data security.

Business leaders should identify the Data Science aspects that they can implement comfortably and focus on them for maximum yields. Once they feel the basic areas have been addressed sufficiently, they could then advance to the more complex avenues.

2. Have a Robust IT Asset Disposal Plan

IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) is one of the most important areas you need to invest in as you create your Data Strategy. This is primarily because ITAD is a security measure that ensures data on devices that are no longer in use is disposed of properly. Below are some of the benefits of having your data disposal handled by professionals:

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Prevents Data Theft: There is no limit to the harms that could befall an organization that has experienced data theft. This information could be used to blackmail or extort you, could be sold to your competitors, and could also result in costly legal problems. To be safe, ensure no sensitive data is left on devices that are no longer in use by having them destroyed by professionals.

Makes Your Hardware Viable for Reselling: Just because a device does not function anymore does not mean it is entirely useless. Electronics can be sold for parts when they are no longer useful. However, this can only be done once the data in them has been safely removed or destroyed.

For Regulatory Compliance: ITAD compliance is a legal regulation in most countries, with special laws related to it in the European Union. Failing to adhere to these regulations will likely attract heavy fines and also tarnish your company’s reputation.

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Protect the Environment: Most certified ITAD vendors will ensure proper, sustainable disposal of all non-reusable hardware left in their care.

Track Your Assets: Hiring appropriate ITAD vendors will ensure you have an accurate account of when and how you disposed of each device you ever owned as a company. Having a clear account of this will relieve you of any possible stress from legal inquiries in case of any eventuality.

3. Do Not Neglect Small Data

Despite all the buzz around big data, the smaller, more concise data that is tailored to your company’s needs is where more focus should be. It is how qualitative the data is rather than its quantity that will determine its value to an organization. This is because qualitative data’s descriptive nature offers precision in vivid, exact terms. This saves time and energy, leading to quicker and better results.

4. Upskill Current Employees for Effective Data Fluency

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Access to useful data for relevant employees across your company is the endgame. The only problem is that not all your staff will have the skill to access, analyze, and use the data they need to make useful decisions. Some may not even see the importance of having Data Science and analysis in their practice. That is why upskilling your staff is an important step in your strategy. This respect and utilization of data should also be established as a culture within your company. However, this does not mean that all employees need to know how to code.

5. Use Graphic User Interfaces for Data Analysis

Having user-friendly interfaces is the best way to get your employees working with data. GUIs use graphics and other easy to understand representations of data to simplify the process of data analysis, interpretation, and usage for the average users. The employees should not just be trained on how to use the interface but also how to analyze the data properly to avoid misinterpretation. This will go a long way in creating a healthy data culture in your organization.

Final Thoughts

With the right Data Strategy and a strong data culture, your company will be set up for great success. Data will be easier to handle, and if applied properly in the making of decisions, more business objectives will be met, resulting in the growth of your enterprise.

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