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As a data leader, you know that a data strategy must relate very closely to the needs of the business. Creating a data strategy in isolation from the business goals is a recipe for disaster. After all, data leaders are fundamentally business leaders.

I could write a long list of dos and don’ts when it comes to data strategy that I’ve learned from speaking with data leaders over the past year. However, one recent conversation highlighted something for me that I hadn’t heard enough about.

In a recent interview series recording for Making Cents of Data, I had the pleasure of chatting about the challenges faced by data leaders in Finserv with Vladimir Benidkow, CDO at First Bank UK.

One of the many topics we discussed covered data strategy and the role it plays in motivating data and analytics people. Vladimir enlightened me on the significance of being able to connect the goals outlined in the data strategy directly to each individual contributor. Essentially, gives every data and analytics person in the business a very tangible part to play in delivering on the data strategy.

It’s key to remember that your strategy should remain agile and not be overcomplicated, but it’s clear to see how being deliberate in the data strategy, down to the granular level, will have its advantages.

From the perspective of a data leader, communication is key. Attributing the success of your strategy directly to individuals is an excellent way to maintain an effective feedback loop to stakeholders and other leaders in the business; if new requests come in, you know exactly who has the capacity to pick work up and you’re able to prioritise work more precisely.

Along with accurate communication of data strategy updates comes increased internal buy-in. When stakeholders understand that their data leader has a solid grasp on their strategy, can relate it to business goals and can account for exactly where individual contributors are up to, they’d be crazy not to give you their full support.

Your team are going to thank you, too. As data and analytics talent specialists, we know for certain that data people want their work to be visible, valuable and impactful. Having the work of your data people tied directly to the data strategy goals, and therefore business objectives, is an effective way to ensure you’re appealing to their needs.

Keeping your team happy and engaged in this way has its obvious advantages. Retention is less of an issue if you have a fully engaged team that feels valued and knows exactly what they’re working towards. Almost all the data people that I speak to who are looking to leave their current job cite that they’re not sure exactly what it is they’re working towards or never see the fruits of their labour.

Another easy way to increase internal buy-in, improve retention and attract the best data people to your team or business is to build your Data Leadership Brand. Orbition’s own Kyle Winterbottom and Catherine King are conducting a data leadership course that helps you do exactly this!

Already CPD accredited and running out of spaces for the November cohort fast – reserve your place here for November or January while you can.

About the Author

Ethan Simpkin

Talent Consultant

Ethan is a highly skilled consultant with us here at Orbition, specializing in data and analytics.

With a passion for technology and a natural talent for identifying top talent, he has become a valuable asset to both clients and candidates in the industry.Read more.

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