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Why You Need an Agile Data Strategy Roadmap

agile data strategy

The Agile Manifesto was created 20 years ago by a group of software developers who never could have imagined that their agile approach would reach so far beyond their own industry. When you take in the core values stated in the Agile Manifesto, you almost can’t help but give them a standing ovation…

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

Today’s enterprises must respond quickly to changes in consumer preferences and market landscape. From delivering an outstanding customer experience to optimizing supply chain management, data is the linchpin of any successful business strategy.

However, many organizations are still using data strategies that aren’t designed to meet the needs of a fast-paced business environment. If you’re working off a 3-year horizon, reviewing metrics once every quarter, and recalibrating your approach once a year—how can you capture new opportunities that are emerging in the data space every day?

That’s precisely why you need an agile data strategy roadmap.

What is an Agile Data Strategy Roadmap?

Agile is a method that uses scalable and adaptive processes to meet changing requirements as they emerge. An agile strategy aligns effort and resources to bring real value to activities and produce operational results through frequent iterations.

A data strategy encompasses the methods, services, and architectures used to acquire, integrate, store, secure, monitor, manage, analyze, and operationalize data. An enterprise data strategy covers 5 key components:

  1. Collection
  2. Storage
  3. Integration
  4. Accessibility
  5. Governance

A data strategy roadmap is a tactical plan to achieve the goals of a data strategy. It maps out the phases and interactions of each of these steps: ideate, assess, design, implement, and govern. It also lists out key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring success.

Putting it all together, an agile data strategy roadmap guides the implementation of a flexible and scalable data strategy to combine long-term planning with short-scope projects. It keeps all the stakeholders in the loop through frequent reporting and iterations to align quick wins with strategic goals.

Why You Need an Agile Data Strategy

So, why do you need an agile data strategy? Put simply…because nothing else works. Your data needs are complex and ever-changing. You need to build an architecture that allows for quick adaptation versus documentation and rigidity.

Proper data management helps you make sense of the information available and prioritize its usage while implementing security measures and governance to protect data integrity and ensure compliance. It provides you with a clear vision of how your organization utilizes data so you can strategically invest in tools and platforms to realize the full potential of data and maximize your ROI.

An agile data strategy sets the foundation for managing the vast amounts of data that organizations need to process. It also provides the structure to execute the many key components of a data strategy while giving you a framework to monitor metrics and iterate tactics to adapt to the current business environment.

What To Include in an Agile Data Strategy Roadmap

To successfully implement an agile data strategy, you need a framework to ensure adherence to standards, processes, and long-term goals even when changes are introduced frequently based on fast-evolving business requirements.

Here are some key components you should include in an agile data strategy roadmap:

Goals and Vision

Articulate the problems your data strategy is aimed to solve, what success looks like, and the KPIs you will use to measure its effectiveness. These goals should closely align with the organization’s strategic business objectives.

Strategic Principles

Set common standards and methodologies based on overarching business goals to ensure that the data strategy supports long-term initiatives even when frequent changes are introduced.

Data Requirements

Define what data your team needs, where and how to get the data, what tools and software you need, what modeling techniques to use, and how the data will be stored and analyzed.

Leadership and Sponsorship

Appoint a leader who understands both the technical and business side of data management to ensure accountability, get stakeholder buy-in, and drive change.

Governance Model

Implement standards and processes to protect data integrity as tactics are adjusted to meet changing requirements. The governance model should cover data standards, workflow guidance, as well as procedures and compliance criteria.

A Change Management Process

Define how changes in the strategy will be introduced, evaluated, confirmed, scaled, and tracked throughout the iterative evolution of the data strategy.

Data Management Guidance

Manage various data elements, such as data topics, metadata, attributes, and groupings through standards and processes.

Data Stewardship

Establish processes to guide data curation, security, and auditing to ensure that data is properly cataloged and protected for the highest level of integrity.

A Power BI Center of Excellence (CoE)

A Power BI Center of Excellence (CoE) is a must-have. A CoE enables the design, development, and implementation of information management, BI, performance management, and data center analytics across the organization to promote consistency and leverage the power of data at scale.

Design Your Winning Agile Data Strategy Roadmap

A comprehensive agile data strategy roadmap helps your organization stay responsive in today’s digital business world without losing sight of your overarching strategy or compromising data security, governance, and integrity.

Our enterprise data and Power BI experts can analyze your data infrastructure, processes, and requirements. Then, we’ll help you design a holistic data strategy roadmap that gives you best-in-class technical and strategic guidance in analytics, planning, and AI across your organization’s data ecosystem. Learn more about our Power BI Strategy Services to see how we can help.

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