/ Developing a Top-Down Data Strategy

CIOs will invest more in data analytics than almost any other technology. So why aren’t enterprises better at data management?

A 2017 article in Forbes posed an intriguing question: Data rules the world, but who rules the data? The organizations that collect it, the systems that store it, or the analysts who decipher it?  

The fact that the question is being asked highlights the data problem at enterprises large and small. That is, the absence of a comprehensive set of data “laws” that govern the collection, sharing, and use of data. For several years, “data as a strategic imperative” has simmered on the back burner as a corporate priority. Now, with every industry ripe for disruption and competitors looming around every corner, it has come to a full boil.  

That’s why forward-thinking enterprises have already elevated data management priorities to the C-suite, and why the time is now for you to do the same. At the heart of that process: data governance–one of the most important elements driving business intelligence, and an essential component of digital transformation initiatives.  

Leading by example

IT will play an important role in the formation and execution of data governance policies—but CIOs must lead the charge, because data is woven into every element of the corporate hierarchy, from the C-suite to interns.  

Given the preponderance of technology that organizations use to collect, manage, analyze, and leverage data, CIOs would be forgiven for thinking they are data-driven. But the fact is that many organizations don’t truly treat data as a valuable business asset.

According to Gartner, “a key characteristic of a data-driven culture is using data in a pervasive way. Data-driven companies establish processes and operations to make it easy for employees to acquire the required information.”  

What technology leaders can do, then, is set an example by immersing themselves in data, and consistently leveraging the same easy-to-understand dashboards used by the entire organization. But that is not enough. Executives must also encourage stakeholders to apply what they’ve learned, using data to drive business decisions. 

Who’s doing it right?  

Many CIOs could take a page from the playbook of Jeremy Andrus, CEO of Traeger Grills, a 30-year old company specializing in high-end pellet grills. The company had dozens of data sources that needed to be pulled together into a single, actionable, easy-to-use dashboard.

Traeger transformed its business with a mobile-first, cloud-based system from Domo for connecting systems and data. Now, Andrus sets the tone for the entire organization by living in that data.   

“I was hooked the first time I used the dashboard app on my phone. I wake up in the morning, I look at the app and I know a hundred things that have happened to the business while I was sleeping,” he says. “What access to data has allowed people to do is see a problem or an opportunity, and when they’re empowered, they act for themselves. That’s culturally who we are.”  

And the business benefits are real. “One thing that Domo has really helped us with is the centralization of data,” says Dave Gebert, director of business analysis. “Previously, a lot of our data would be disjointed, so sales might exist in one system, shipments in a different system, but then inbound information might be separate.” Domo, he says, gives them one comprehensive, unified view of Traeger’s different business processes, a perspective that creates new insights to better drive business decisions.

To learn more about how leading brands use Domo to unify data from across the enterprise, and make smarter decisions that drive their business, click here.