What Is Data Strategy?

By on
data strategy

Data Strategy describes a “set of choices and decisions that together, chart a high-level course of action to achieve high-level goals,” according to DAMA’s Data Management Body of Knowledge (DMBoK). This approach includes business plans to use data for a competitive advantage and support enterprise goals. Having such a blueprint to align decision-making and activities around data assets makes it invaluable.

Data Strategy requires an understanding of the data needs inherent in the Business Strategy. According to Donna Burbank:

“It’s the opportunity to take your existing product line and market it better, develop it better, use it to improve customer service, or to get a 360-degree understanding of your customer. Data Strategy is driven by your organization’s overall Business Strategy and business model.”

A Well-Developed Data Strategy Has:

  • A strong Data Management vision
  • A strong business case/reason
  • Guiding principles, values, and management perspectives
  • Well-considered goals for the data assets under management
  • Metrics and measurements of success
  • Short-term and long-term program objectives
  • Suitably designed and understood roles and responsibilities

Other Data Strategy Definitions Include:

  • “A pattern in a stream of decisions.” (Peter Aiken)
  • “Aligns and prioritizes data and analytics activities with key organizational priorities, goals and objectives.” (CDO LLC)
  • “A coherent strategy for organizing, governing, analyzing, and deploying an organization’s information assets that can be applied across industries and levels of data maturity.” (Harvard Business Review)
  • “Concepts of standards, collaboration and reuse applied to data to support improved accuracy, access, sharing and reuse.” (SAS)
  • “Intentional action and prioritization plan to:
    • Harness and integrate data
    • Create and disseminate information/intelligence
    • Advance a business mission“ (Stony Brook University)

Data Strategy Use Cases Include:

  • Bringing analytics, Data Governance, and Information Architecture together by launching a Data Strategy at a global food enterprise
  • Building a Data Strategy to ensure consistency among agencies across the state of Oregon
  • Implementing a Data Strategy at Cummins to put clean, manufacturing data in one place
  • Refreshing a Data Strategy to keep up with changes in business needs at Freddie Mac

Businesses Develop a Data Strategy To:

Image used under license from

Leave a Reply

We use technologies such as cookies to understand how you use our site and to provide a better user experience. This includes personalizing content, using analytics and improving site operations. We may share your information about your use of our site with third parties in accordance with our Privacy Policy. You can change your cookie settings as described here at any time, but parts of our site may not function correctly without them. By continuing to use our site, you agree that we can save cookies on your device, unless you have disabled cookies.
I Accept