The start of a year inevitably brings discussions around upcoming trends – with people debating what businesses should be taking on board to remain relevant. This is especially true within the technology space, as businesses continue to move towards becoming digitally attentive.
Given this, as digital continues to lead conversations around boardroom tables, it is becoming evident that the success of digital business lies in the accurate and timeous analysis of data, which can be leveraged, effectively, to enable digital operations.
For this reason, many companies are returning to the ‘drawing board’ and relooking the fundamentals of their data management strategy for digital success. Key to this is investigating the existing data foundation a business has in place.
However, with so much data exchange happening within a company, often decision makers focus more on investing in technology aspects, driven under the assumption that the data foundation is running effectively. Yet, with ongoing changes to governance, privacy and the focus around the security of data, existing data foundations need to be enhanced.
To truly achieve digital reformation, concerted efforts in formalising and streamlining data governance within a data foundation should become a key focus for executives. If we consider the Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act, which is set to come into effect at some point in 2018, there should be an urgency driving this.
As part of this process, the business will have the opportunity to automatically address, and in certain areas, enhanced data management practices – meeting governance and security requirements. Furthermore, with a robust data foundation, organisations will now have the potential to improve the quality of the data to be analysed, which can benefit the business in the results produced.
The data foundation is a critical component to the entire data strategy a business executes. In fact, the foundation will determine the capability of the business to extract insights from the information coming into the business from various sources.
And of course, a vital component to this is utilising the right skills to get the job done. This means taking on board the expertise of data architects and engineers, who have the experience and insight to shape data foundations in a way that meets these current business requirements.
The more focus a business places on digital, the more attention they will need to give to their data, as data will lead their strategies going forward and remain an important tool in achieving digital victory.
By Yolanda Smit, Regional (Gauteng) Director at PBT Group