Data intelligence maturity: the future of data governance

By Madalina Tanasie, Chief Technology Officer at Collibra.

To truly comprehend and trust the data within your organisation, it is essential to have a secure and well-orchestrated data ecosystem, supported by mature data intelligence practices.

For most businesses, data intelligence revolves around the degree to which they have adopted key technologies, processes, and policies to manage data accessibility and usability. Depending on the size of a business, periodically checking how effectively people are getting value out of their data is essential to scaling the organisation.

More importantly, the regular monitoring of data has become critical to business success, not only in helping businesses become aware of the data they currently have but also allowing them to use it to make more informed business decisions.

Data is the lifeblood of your business

According to recent IDC research, businesses with high levels of data intelligence maturity receive three times the business benefits compared to less mature organisations. This underlines how a data-driven culture has proven to be essential in a digital-first world.

The research conducted by IDC and commissioned by Collibra shows that 67% of respondents believe data intelligence to be crucial in making informed business decisions and driving better business outcomes. Therefore, in order to effectively increase data maturity, productivity and innovation, businesses should look to have a clear and practical roadmap for advancing up the data maturity ladder.

To begin, organisations should invest in attracting and retaining talent. By leveraging the right people and technology they can reap the full potential benefits of their data. No matter what stage a business is at when it comes to their data maturity journey, committing to upskill staff through training courses is essential to the successful adoption of data intelligence and driving team productivity.

Next, businesses should prioritise influencing, inspiring and instigating action not just within the data office but throughout the entire organisation. Data culture often has no set structure, therefore, who the responsibility sits with is a little unclear. It is important to educate the organisation as a whole and not just those in the data office – data intelligence maturity can begin with key individuals and work its way through an entire organisation until it becomes part of every business decision.

The benefits of the journey

The significance of data intelligence maturity is evident in its results. In fact, according to the IDC study mentioned previously, the top three business outcomes seen by respondents from highly mature data cultures include: industry innovation; adherence to regulatory compliance requirements; and faster time-to-market for new products and services.

As businesses increase their data maturity, they can in turn expect to see a transformation in their internal problem-solving capabilities. Combining the use of existing data and business-wide decision making is essential in producing a seamless customer experience.

In most cases, adopting a long-term strategy around data technologies takes more than simply adapting current data storage and sourcing methods. The benefits of data intelligence are often a product of changing the organisation’s data culture altogether. This can be accelerated by creating a leadership role with responsibility for overseeing and adopting data intelligence across the whole company.

Drink your own champagne

Data remains an invaluable source of growth for businesses. The key to reaping its benefits often lies in building a data-driven culture that revolves around a business recognising their data’s potential, analysing it effectively, and making decisions using the abundant knowledge that their data holds. The use of sophisticated tools and external data intelligence platforms can help a business make even better decisions and drive more value from their data.

For a business to achieve this higher level of data maturity and start using data more effectively, it comes down to putting their best foot forward. External data intelligence tools can help to eliminate any sense of uncertainty and highlight just where a business can improve their data intelligence practices.

In addition to educating and training staff on data intelligence principles, businesses must adopt a mindset of ‘drinking your own champagne’, applying those principles and strategies to benefit and encourage change within the organisation. Once this is achieved, the company will be in the best position to understand and trust their data and use it to drive better business outcomes.

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