It is getting to be strategic planning and budgeting time here in many companies, but no matter when your planning season is, don’t begin without an essential ingredient: your trusted data.
Data is generated in all areas of the organization and is used in business decisions big and small. However, time and competitive advantage can be lost if organizations are worried over the validity of the data they use to make their decisions.
If this is a risk in your organization, consider the following to create trusted sources of data so more time is spent using the data than questioning it:
- Meet with each operational area and have an honest data quality discussion. Ask managers what sources of data they trust and do not trust, and why. This can help identify data sources that need work to improve trustworthiness, but also reveal gaps in understanding that create trust issues.
- Address quality issues. These issues tend to stem from errors in the creation of the data. For key data sources, processes should be developed (or revisited) to reduce the risk of errors being introduced during data entry, processing, or analysis.
- Address validity issues. You probably already knew some issues existed, but the conversations you have about data trust will likely identify more. Put together a team of stakeholders to help identify solutions to improve the accuracy of the data. Depending on the severity of the issue, an outside resource may be needed to restore trust in a source.
- Review analytics and reports. Reports often grow organically to meet the needs of one area of the business. If other areas do not understand the purpose of the report and data used to create it, trust can be hard to gain. A review of all the reports and analytics conducted within the organization can help improve an understanding of how data is used in different areas and increase trust in the results.
Already started planning season in your company? Keep these points in mind when conversations get into the weeds around one the validity of analysis or another. A mistrust of the data may be at the root of the distraction. Don’t dismiss the issue but set specific meeting time to revisit that analysis and the underlying data involved. Then, invest some time to address how your organization establishes data trust.
When your business is ready to evaluate its data and the processes surrounding how it’s used, contact Triple Helix!