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Implementing a Successful DataOps Strategy: It's all in the "Backwards" Journey

Companies are moving toward more intelligent data processes. Here are three steps to take your DataOps strategy to the next level.

By Ramesh Vishwanathan

Data can provide a vital resource for enterprises of all sizes looking to increase revenue or differentiate themselves from competitors. It's also more plentiful than ever, produced in increasingly large volumes by devices and systems connected through the Internet of Things (IoT). How does business go about fully leveraging this vast trove of data? Implementing a sound DataOps strategy offers a best-case solution, yet it can be easier said than done-especially for businesses struggling to translate their technology investments into tangible business value.

To overcome this common obstacle and get the most out of their data, enterprises should consider following a "backwards journey" approach. Outlined in the following three steps, this common-sense process advises leaders to start with their business goals and work backwards, leveraging principles of clarity and pragmatism in creating an effective and sustainable data strategy. Here's how it works.

Step 1: Identify Your Business Goals
The first question you should ask is "Why?" It may sound trivial, but many organizations do not have a clear reason why they want to deploy a DataOps strategy or invest in new technology. What are your business end goals? Are you looking to attract or retain customers? Increase your ROI? Meet expected sales targets?

Once you have identified your end goals, it is important for business and IT leaders to align on what success looks like for their organization. All too often, technology objectives are set too high, only to come crashing down due to a lack of data, time, technical capabilities, or a combination of all three. This is the time to think critically about the intended role of data and identify potential issues, including the availability of resources to analyze and make sense of it all.

Step 2: Determining the Processes to Get There
Approach process selection with an open mind by asking yourself, "What does my organization need to achieve its desired outcomes?" Be sure to assess business agility (your ability to sense and react to the needs of your customers) and delivery agility (the ability of your IT department to sense and react to the needs of the business). These factors, along with other considerations, such as data availability, time constraints and budget capacity should influence how you get the job done.

For example, as a nationwide restaurant chain, a client needed to measure the effectiveness of their sales promotions and improve their customer engagement. Identifying inherent challenges stemming from their use of on-premise database technologies and an outdated enterprise business intelligence system, we partnered with our client to build a next-generation data and analytics platform leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS) to uncover new value from their data. The end result? An increase of average store sales and total customer transactions, as well as improved average speed of service.

Step 3: Introducing the Strategy and Approach
So you've selected a strategy and begun to execute processes. Now what? At this point, key performance indicators (KPIs) are needed to measure the success of your program and make necessary adjustments.

Say, for example, your organization is implementing a strategy that is cloud-service reliant. You'll likely want to measure usage, performance, reliability, and maturation of that service. With this information in hand, you should be well-prepared to consider the impact of your chosen strategy on your business. Be sure to reference back to your original goals and stay flexible-this will make it easier to introduce new strategies to meet new goals, as well as achieve higher levels of success.

The Bottom Line
When executed correctly, this type of "backwards" approach can be immensely valuable in supporting enterprise end goals, while limiting the divide between deployed technology and business success. Just remember to be realistic with expectations and anticipate "bumps in the road." These bumps are normal and should not impact your overall success, provided you stay flexible and address challenges head on.



Ramesh Vishwanathan 

Ramesh Vishwanathan is a practice consulting director with TEKsystems Global Services, an industry leader in full-stack technology services, talent services, and real-world application. Ramesh is a data insights leader, innovator, and AI evangelist. He leads TEKsystems' data insights practice, focusing on cloud, big data, and AI strategy. He is an expert at helping customers adopt and mature AI and helps lead them to data-driven automation and intelligence-driven business processes. You can contact the author via email or LinkedIn.

Published Thursday, September 23, 2021 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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