In addition to a strong data foundation, and reporting, analytics and information delivery, a thorough business intelligence (BI) initiative requires effective strategy and data management. With the need for organizations to use all the tools at their disposal to foster innovation, drive excellence and create a competitive advantage, a comprehensive strategy and data-management initiative proactively defines and manages data as an enterprise asset.
To realize the true value of data, effective strategy and data management must include certain criteria, including a clear vision of the value data can have as a strategic asset. Also, a company must have a plan to institutionalize the concept of enterprise data and weave it into the fabric of the organization. The right processes, best practices and enabling technology must also be integrated to continually support and manage the use of organizational data. Finally, a continuous improvement mindset must be adopted to maintain and grow BI capabilities.
Achieving an enterprise view of data provides trusted, enterprise-validated data, as well as several other benefits, including:
- Greater organizational consistency
- Improved enterprise collaboration and communication
- Increased productivity
- Improved ability to deliver results
- Potential reduced cost of technology ownership
However, without an enterprise data strategy, an organization can suffer unintended consequences, such as:
- Conflicting information, reporting and analysis
- Greater cost of technology
- Organizational waste
- Reduced productivity
The path to developing an enterprise view of data can be a challenging journey, but a successful initiative can pay dividends many times over. The right strategy can make the journey easier, provide more valuable insights and provide an early return on investment.