Organisations are now starting to take a strategic approach to data and analytics. This is because projects that have been delivered in the past have often created silos of information rather than giving management the complete picture that is needed to make the right decisions, but also because data is such a key asset in today’s digital world.

However, companies cannot enact a strategic approach in one go. It takes time to build up the relevant skills, processes, systems and buy-in needed for the right data/BI programme. New approaches and concepts are being developed all the time, and innovations such as cloud, data discovery, big data and artificial intelligence are evolving, so companies need to evolve their data/BI maturity in order to take advantage and be ahead of their competitors.

A data review will help you to take a positive step towards realising the benefits and importance of data, as well as provide you with recommendations on how to develop a unique blueprint to get the most out of your data/systems. It should also highlight any potential quick wins.

Data and BI are as much about an organisation’s culture and understanding as they are about technology. To this end, a review needs to go further than just the systems and associated output to understanding how everyone and everything interacts when it comes to data.

The starting point for reviewing any organisation is understanding the readiness for data/BI deployment over the following areas:

  • Establishing the current data drivers (business objectives)
  • A review of the creation and consumption (‘people’) aspect of data/BI
  • An understanding of the current processes
  • A look at the current systems and the data stored

A review consists of an on-site visit(s) where meetings should be arranged with a cross section of employees from senior management, IT and end users who are creating data and outputs. Examples of current reports and the data elements should be available, and a list of all systems and their data content should be supplied.

The review can then be used to devise a strategy for a long-term data journey.