Plan Your Data Like You Plan Your Road Trip

Asset – A useful or valuable thing, person, or quality.

Both useful and valuable, data is the heartbeat of an organization.  Data requires a thoughtful plan that incorporates both business and technical alignment around an organization’s overall strategy.  Without a proper data strategy, how can you know what is truly happening internally or externally?  At this point in time most organizations, if not all, are aware of this importance.  Whether it’s a bank leveraging customer data to enhance their banking experience or a manufacturer who leverages data to reduce downtime on the plant floor, access to the right data is critical.  Data truly is an invaluable asset.

Yet, most organizations are still presented with several challenges in their data journey.  These challenges reside on both the technical and the business side.  From a technical perspective you often have data silos, poor plumbing, outdated systems, and lack of internal expertise.  These often directly impact and create challenges on the business side which include spotty/slow reporting and lack of insights on customers and internal operations. It’s the trickle effect.  If the data coming in is inadequate, then the information going out is useless.  With useless information, business critical decisions cannot be properly made.  This is an oversimplification, but the general idea remains.

Destination – The place to which someone or something is going or being sent.

We all understand how important data is to an organization’s survival yet so many continue to struggle with reaping the benefits.  Most of the time this comes down to poor planning.  Too many businesses dive into their data journey without knowing where they are heading or where they might end up.  Developing your data strategy around the strategic direction of your company, allows you to mitigate several of the most common challenges associated with such a journey.  Therefore, a close alignment between business and technical from the very beginning, with a comprehensive plan in place, is a must.  In other words, you need to have a sense of where you are heading if you want to arrive within a timely manner (or at all). For example, when you embark on a new road trip, what do you typically do before you even pull out of your driveway?  Do you simply hit the road towards an unknown destination?  I doubt so, unless you enjoy aimlessly driving around, wasting fuel and time, with no desire to reach your destination.

For most of us, we enter the destination into our GPS app of choice.  We have identified where it is we want to go and are beginning our trip with the destination in mind.  This not only allows us to arrive at our destination, but it allows us to arrive in an efficient manner.  We know where we are going, and we have a plan to get there.  We probably even have some planned stops along the way and a rough idea of what time we will arrive.

The same basic concept should apply to your data strategy.  You “enter” your destination, develop a plan to get there with stops along the way, and execute.  Yes, you may encounter a flat tire or add some last-minute stops, but you are still heading in the same direction.  You’re much better off than that other guy or gal who is still aimlessly driving around in the middle of nowhere while you sip your margarita on a beautiful sandy beach.

Of course, this journey is one that constantly evolves as the destination is more of a state of being rather than a stopping point.  As we all know, there is no stopping point with such a transformation, more of a continuous improvement.  But, with both the business and technical sides of the house aligned, your trip planned, and destination entered, you are setting your digital journey up for success.  Healthcare, financial services, retail, manufacturing, logistics, and all other industries can reap several benefits when taking this path.  These benefits set you towards happy employees, happy customers, and happy shareholders.  You may even become known as a silo-breaking, trip-planning, agile-forming data slinger who came to innovate their way towards the future.  I’d welcome that title, would you?


evolv knows how to properly set you up for a successful “trip”, from strategy development to implementation.


Contact us for a free data assessment and let’s hit the road together.