Data Strategy Position Paper

Data has become critical to achieving competitive advantage in business. The evidence that data is driving disruptions in entire industries is overwhelming: companies such as Amazon, Uber, and AirBnB are radically disrupting their respective competitive landscapes through the use of data. Data is an important window into the way that decisions get made and processes get executed in each individual business. The number of organizations that can credibly say that data is not critical to their competitive advantage is dwindling daily.

With so much data to look at and tools to consider, however, it is easy to invest in the wrong platforms and capabilities. Creating a clearly articulated data strategy—a roadmap of technology-driven capability investments prioritized to deliver value—helps ensure from the get-go that you are focusing on the right things, so that your work with data has a business impact. A successful data strategy is created in collaboration with stakeholders from across the entire organization, so as to ensure buy-in and solid understanding.

The practice of maintaining a data strategy that is enmeshed in your business values is not only about being oriented to what your business needs today, but accounting for the fact that you will inevitably need to adapt as you go. A sound data strategy focuses on mapping technology capabilities to business objectives in a way that is actionable now but also flexible in the face of rapid change.