Who owns your data strategy?

Our UK Country Manager, Peter Hopwood, was recently interviewed for an article “Who owns your data strategy and how do you define it effectively” written by Michael Gilmour from Michael Page Technology.

Here is what Peter had to say in the article:

Peter Hopwood, Altis Consulting UK Regional Manager, has been working in BI for 20 years across numerous different sectors, and, keen to learn from his experience, I asked Peter where he finds that ownership of a data strategy currently exists:

“Having worked in Australia and the UK across a multitude of industries, one thing always prevails, and that is a lack of consistency. There is no doubting that IT are custodians of data, but they don’t create the data itself. Departments like finance, marketing, sales, etc. create the data. I’ve seen data strategies sit with CTOs, CIOs, Head Actuaries, COOs and, more recently, CDOs – the list is endless.”

 Given that data is created across various functions of a business and potentially owned elsewhere, determining an appropriate strategy is key. Peter went on to explain how he approaches defining an effective data strategy:
“Start off with a clear sponsor and then talk to the affected business areas: understand what they really want. You need to ensure your strategy fits into the organisation’s key objectives, the culture of its employees and, ultimately, whether or not it will be fit for purpose. There’s no point sending your CFO detailed figures if they only want the headline figures. All of this boils down to understanding your customers.”
Peter went on to detail the main challenges he has identified:
“Understanding what the business wants and how they work: this seems straightforward, however, a poor definition or lack of understanding in this area will quickly see your strategy unravel. As an example, businesses want to know how many employees they have, but what does this mean? Does it mean full-time employees, fixed-term staff, contractors, volunteers, or all the above? Each definition will yield vastly differing results.  Don’t be a mind reader: go over the details and ensure you’re on the same page.”

To read the full article, click here.


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