Understand what you need to do to get there
If you want a 360-degree view of your customers, for instance, you need reliable customer data. If you want reliable customer data, you need to tackle your data quality. To tackle data quality, you need the right data governance in place to establish and maintain data standards. Before you set out, you need to understand that there are certain landmarks that every data strategy needs to hit, whatever it is you’re trying to achieve. These core data tenets – such as data quality, data governance, migration, etc – are always going to be needed, and while there might be tools and tricks that can make them easier and more effective, there isn’t a tool on the planet that can ‘fix’ them in an instant.
Tackle obstacles, don’t try to avoid them
When you encounter problems on your data journey – like poor data quality, or resistance to new data processes – don’t look for a way around them. Tackle them head on. If you have poor quality data, no tool is going to make it better on its own: as we so often say at Amplifi, ‘rubbish in, rubbish out’. Likewise, if you’re hitting resistance from people, bringing in a new solution isn’t going to miraculously change their behaviour. You need to find out what’s causing their reticence and discover how to communicate the project in a way that everyone can get behind.
Keep an eye out for the big buzzword wolf
Buzzwords and acronyms aren’t bad – they are a product of an industry that’s constantly evolving to tackle new data challenges and deliver new benefits for its customers. Technology vendors aren’t trying to lure you away from your data goals, they’re trying to help you reach them – you just need to know when and how to use them. The trick is learning to understand when a tool is really what you need, and when it’s a distraction. AI is a good case in point – almost every business wants AI-driven data insights, but most have much more basic data concerns they have to address first. If you start chasing AI before you’ve covered your basic data management, it’s going to be a long time until you see any tangible business results. You could even end up creating more problems with data than you solve.
That’s why Gartner, and most vendors, recommend partner-led technology selection and delivery. Experts like yours truly can help you really get to grips with what you need from data, identify the right tools for the task, and make sure you’ve covered all of the groundwork you need to make implementation a success.
To uncover more home truths about data, download our latest guide below: 'The Truth About Data'.