Why a business-wide data strategy is core to cross-functional success

By Alchemmy’s Jonny Varga

Functional data teams are great. They tackle domain-specific problems with their subject matter expertise and solve them in a bespoke manner. A commercial data analyst will use their commercial knowledge and understanding of the organisation’s commercial strategy and solve a commercial problem with that lens.

This is a common organic approach in organisations when using data to solve business problems. Data teams or analyst roles are created when required to service function-specific issues and continue growing within that silo. This approach can provide great success. However, it is always limited by that which it cannot see – the lens worn by the data team in the next silo over.

Once an organisation decides it wants to commit to being more data-driven, it needs to start thinking about its entire body of data as one. An enterprise-wide data strategy naturally forces enterprise-wide, or cross-functional, collaborations. Whether this is a centralised or a hybrid approach depends on the organisation, but the consequence is the same: more holistic problem-solving.

A shared strategy ensures all data professionals across the organisation are singing off the same hymn sheet when it comes to the foundations, such as data usage, data governance, having a single source of truth, and people development, while eliminating duplication of effort and decision. It means functional teams can focus on what makes them great and expertise from multiple domains can be pulled together to uncover solutions that may not have otherwise been apparent.

Take an airport, for example. It offers a unique situation where commercial and operational perspectives collide. Instead of a commercial team thinking about how to create £250m of new revenue, and an operational team thinking about how to save £150m, a cross-functional approach sheds the myopic view and may allow you to see a business solution that incorporates both perspectives and leads to a cumulative £400m of combined revenue increase and cost savings.

A shared data strategy encourages and sets an expectation for solving business problems. It is as much cultural as it is practical, and you will find that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

At Alchemmy, we are passionate about helping organisations implement shared data strategies that serve the business and align to its values and objectives. Our Alchemmy Diagnosis Tool stress-tests your foundations and scores your use of data across the business, helping you understand if, and how, data is limiting your strategic objectives. If you need yours checked or recalibrated, please get in touch.

Reach out to Alchemmy Aviation here:

aviation@alchemmy.com

Or reach out to Jonny via LinkedIN

 

Written by

Sam Smitherman

Published on

25th April 2024

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