Your data is only helping you if know what you should be looking at
Nowadays companies integrate all the data that used to be trapped in multiple different company systems. Often these projects are started from a technical standpoint. However, finding the essence through the mountains of data does not start from its integration, but rather from understanding the value of the information that can be had from the data.
The first step in a company’s data project should not be technical, but organizational, say the authors in a Harvard Business Review article. I'd like to think that the first step needs to be an investment in time and human capital to determine the strategic outcome you want to achieve through data integration.
When entering into data integration projects, you need to know what kind of value you want to create with the end result. The integration should be driven by a clear understanding of the main indicators you need to monitor. Even if the first step of the data integration project is successful, the conclusion can still be that some data is not relevant for any party or that some very vital information is missing from the company’s data streams.
The questions to ask yourself are:
- What do you want to monitor?
- What should you monitor?
- How can value be created with the data?
- What data is needed to achieve this value?
Once these questions have been answered, the technical part of the project should be more comprehensible to all parties. If you go technology first, you might end up in huge costs and a lot of unused data.
If you take the desired output and the produced value of the data as your starting point, I believe the project becomes more cost effective and more interesting and relevant for all parties.