#84 You don't need data strategy - you need business transformation first

Companies are now entering data economy and this often requires new kind of thinking, new kind of management and mindset. Often the consultants offer data strategy creation as the first steps. Data strategy refers to the tools, processes, and rules that define how to manage, analyze, and act upon business data. A data strategy helps you to make informed decisions based on your data. It also helps you keep your data safe and compliant.


The problem is, data strategies are complex. There are a lot of moving parts to them, so creating one can be difficult. The problem also is that data strategy is a reaction, it expects that you have business interests aligned with data commodities first. Building data strategy does not make sense before you have business interests and goals set.


Data-First should not be the default - only a backup


Consider the option. You list your data and build nice management solutions and practices. Then you start looking at your data and thinking what to do with it. That's wrong. You are now letting the data define the business. Your business must be the driver, not your data! If you don't have the data needed to do what you want in business actions, then arrange the situation so that you do!


Data related activities based on business landscape


Start defining your business strategy first, then based on that evaluate what role data has in your business. Not all companies are all-in with data. Not all businesses need to put major effort in data. At least not now. Setting up huge 6 months long data strategy building process when only a fraction of your business requires at this moment heavy data analytics, would probably be an overkill and waste of resources. Your business management must set the level for data related activities - not the other way around.


Even if you hear claims that you should be data-driven, you should always be business-first driven above all.