Many companies understand that data is a valuable resource, but they struggle with what to do with it once they’ve got it. Companies face challenges setting their goals, acquiring data effectively and accurately, and transform it into useful information, sharing widely and gaining insights. A successful strategy for data will provide direction on how to address these issues.

A company’s strategy for data should reflect its business model and needs. Businesses in highly regulated industries may have to focus their efforts on defense strategies to avoid security breaches or violations of compliance. On the other hand, businesses that depend heavily on departments that deal with customers (like marketing or sales) should prioritize offense strategies to help increase profits and revenue by making smart use of data analytics.

In addition to establishing a clear goal for the company’s data strategy it is vital to establish consistent processes for collecting and sharing data. This includes everything from standardizing spellings and formatting to developing an organized method of cataloging information so that future references are easy. The result of this effort is improved data quality, less duplicate information and easier access to information.

It is also vital to show the leadership how implementation of a data-driven strategy can help the company. This will encourage the top management to invest more resources and give support to the efforts. This can be achieved through highlighting success stories based on data, and providing transparent methods for measuring the most important analytic metrics that show demand.