Passionately curious about Data, Databases and Systems Complexity. Data is ubiquitous, the database universe is dichotomous (structured and unstructured), expanding and complex. Find my Database Research at SQLToolkit.co.uk . Microsoft Data Platform MVP

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing" Einstein

Sunday 4 April 2021

Developing post-pandemic data strategy

The ODI have a really interesting podcast on data strategy . It is the  fourth episode of the ODI Inside Business podcast, with ODI’s Learning and Business Development Director, Stuart Coleman and Robin Sutara, newly appointed Chief Data Officer at Microsoft UK, to discuss why culture change should power organisations’ data strategy plans.  They discussed what cultural and mindset shifts are needed to facilitate the implementation and execution of a viable data strategy.  As well as how Microsoft has shifted their thinking in their journey and how they have succeeded in helping their clients transition into a new digital thinking era.

The podcast is entitled "Inside Business – Developing post-pandemic data strategy: Why culture change should power your plans"

There were three important areas that were raised when thinking about data strategy. 

1. Data Capabilities - where a business / department is on their data journey. Are they modernising their legacy systems, thinking about data science or data governance?

2. Data Culture - how do you instantiate a data culture in an organisation? This can be by democratizing data ensuring the right data is defined at the right time and also ensuring employees feel empowered to act on the data without looking to senior leadership

3. Encouraging a growth mind set, fail fast, iterate, make decisions that will drive progress and to iterate as the data changes.

Data as a strategic asset

The Chief Data Officer (CDO)  role is an interesting new role which varies widely between organizations. It can cover a variety of responsibilities, from driving data technology decisions, to creating data-driven cultures, data governance and identifying data-centric opportunities.

The ODI has set out a vision in Data strategy: how an ecosystem approach can help shape your vision . Also the ODI Inside Business – a checklist for leaders article contains some useful points. They mentioned appointing a Chief Data Officer is a good place to start. This role is a leader and should be considering the company’s data skills, data handling and data infrastructure as part of its responsibilities.

Their checklist suggests five critical areas leaders can explore through a series of questions.  There is a list of tools to use to take practical action.

  • Data strategy: How data is used differently in your organisation to create value and improve business performance, in the face of competition.
  • Data infrastructure:  The datasets, policies, systems, processes and tools you need for data to create value.
  • Data ecosystems: The internal and external networks that enable data to be accessed, used and shared.
  • Data skills: The literacy and skills your people need to improve business performance.
  • Data ethics:  How your business creates value from data whilst avoiding harmful impacts.

It is also worth reading the book Growth Mindsets by Carol Dweck. In the book she discusses that there are two mind sets: 
  • A fixed mindset - intelligence is static
  • A growth mindset - intelligence can be developed
A growth mindset drives success. Thus having a growth mind set and looking at the five critical areas will help define the data ecosystem of the future.

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