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Data is the New Currency for Digital Transformation

Today’s business leaders know that data is important to execute their strategy. That’s true, but it’s still underestimating the importance of data. The information your business generates and accesses is not merely a tool for operational execution. It’s so essential to the success of a modern business that it must be handled as carefully and strategically as currency. Like finances, data requires the focused attention of the C-suite and the Board.

Data is instrumental to innovation in product and service design, to efficiencies in supply line management, and to effectiveness in marketing. Take customer experience, which is the true driving force behind the idea of “digital transformation.” Personalization is key to digital customer experience. We expect easy, automated processes as our primary interaction, whether we’re placing an order, checking a reservation, or researching a purchase. We expect businesses to know us—to remember our buying history, to have a record of our customer support requests, to know we updated our mailing address last time.

That unified experience has to be built on a foundation of unified data. But data is all over the place, in many silos throughout the organization, perhaps in incompatible formats, perhaps duplicated, without a clear source of truth. Is this any way to treat the lifeblood of your business?

Data Governance

Think about data the way you handle money within a company. You don’t want employees wasting funds—spending them counter-productively, giving them away, losing them. You give various departments a budget: the money they need to accomplish their goals, to buy equipment or other resources. You monitor the expenses, you audit. You know where the money is going, and why. You can produce that information for internal purposes or, where required, for legal or regulatory needs. Basically, money is too necessary to keep completely locked up, but too important to just throw around.

Data should be treated in similar fashion. This can be a little more complicated, because data can be used over and over, by many departments, and for multiple purposes. A dollar can only be spent once. All the more reason to make the right data available where it’s needed, and you want to establish controls to prevent mishandling.

As many as 90% of data governance projects are doomed to failure. This is often due to a combination of low data hygiene, poorly-defined governance processes, and no defined roles or responsibilities. The way forward for any business lies, in good part, through smarter use of its data. Like money and other key resources, leaders must look to comprehensively govern and wisely leverage their data.

Pandera is focused on cultivating corporate DNA and engineering decision-making environments that mobilize business intelligence and immerse employees in knowledge. For more information on Data Governanace and how we can help align your oprganization feel free to contact us or learn more here.

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Matthew is the Chief Data Officer and champion of controlled self-service business intelligence environments, supporting people in creating, maintaining and utilizing a self-service environment while upholding security infrastructures.