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Danger! Data for data’s sake.

Why quality is the most important part of your Data Strategy

Data has changed the way the world works. It has improved customer experiences, helped to cut costs, increased revenue and solved problems. But data is only as good as your ability to understand and communicate it.

The players in the video above are wearing VR headsets which show them a view of the pitch and themselves from above. An interesting use of the latest technology but not entirely successful.

The information they are getting is unfamiliar and confusing. It offers little that helps them improve any aspect of their game – other, perhaps, than from a comedy entertainment point of view.

Most importantly, it could not be argued that doing this has fixed a particular problem.

The players still have a common objective – scoring a goal and winning a game (the basics rarely change that much) – but they and their leadership spend more time working out how to fix new problems than meeting that well known objective.

I know this is a comedy show. I know it is meant to be funny, but it does illustrate the danger of assuming new data, gathered and presented in new ways, with new technology will be the silver bullet your organisation needs.

Set the objectives for your Data Strategy FIRST

Your Data Strategy should have clear objectives and questions to answer/problems to fix.

Simply introducing new technology or data for the sake of it is likely to create problems for your organisation, not solutions. Additional costs, loss of a clear common picture, misleading new Business Intelligence – all of these are consequences of a poorly executed Data Strategy.

For example, going through the expense of implementing Machine Learning when your objectives could be achieved through Reporting & Analytics could lead to confusion as huge volumes of new analysis aimed at answering questions no-one asked flood your organisation and its meetings.

Get the balance right

The use of new technology and data will always present an opportunity to improve every aspect of your organisation.

Just make sure your Data Strategy has clear objectives, introduces new tech and data for the right reasons and, above all answers the questions and fixes the problems which matter most to your business – ones your staff can align with their common objectives.

Make sure any new Business Intelligence is rolled out in a way people can understand and use to recognise the insight immediately – that way you can rely on them to use their expertise to put the passes together and score the goals.

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