What is a data strategy?

A data strategy is a central, well thought plan on how to use your marketing data to get insight and inspire further business growth by the use of data.

This is a long-term plan that involves many people in your organization as well as multiple tools and technologies to be able to harvest the data that you want.

You can call a data strategy a playbook on how to collect, manage, protect and the application of that data.

It's more of a holistic method, not just focusing on gathering and applying that data to drive growth.

The 6 components you need in your data strategy

1. Roadmap

A roadmap is a tool that helps you look forward in terms of achieving you measurement goals. It includes such things as tools, budget and what you want to be able to do.

The goal in a roadmap can look different from business to business, not all companies have the same goals. Some might want to do predictive modelling to forecast revenue, while others might want to do real time optimization.

You can look at a roadmap as a bridge between what you want to do in the future and what you're able to do today and what steps you need to take to get there.

Learn how to create a roadmap here.

2. People

The second component to a data strategy is people. It details what kind of people you have access to, either within your organization, team or externally.

These people mentioned here are people who are going to help you achieve the goals you've set. It can be analysts, engineers, or other roles. You might see that you don't have all the right people to help you achieve the goals you've set, but that's OK, you can either hire people who fit that role, or you can outsource.

3. Metrics

A good data strategy has a framework in place to help you find the right metrics, with an emphasize in right.

You shouldn't just pick any random metrics who think would fit, there should always be a meaning behind the metrics you choose and the metrics should reflect your business goals.

4. Engineering

The engineering part deals with how you're going to measure the metrics you've chosen. In many cases you will find most of the data you need in Google Analytics or other marketing analytics software. In other cases, however you might need to develop a way to get that data.

It might be installing a tag or set up Google Tag Manager in a certain way that allows you to get the data you want.

You should think about what people you have on your team, are they able to help with engineering? You should also take a look at the tools you would need.

5. Optimization

Optimization is probably the biggest part in why you invest in data. You want to find ways to grow and to do that you will need to optimize the data you're gathering.

You can optimize based on historical data or you can optimize using A/B testing.

In this component you should think about when to run experiments, how to do it and when you should optimize based on your data.

6. Reporting

The final part in your data strategy components are reporting.

Questions to answer in this part can be:

  • Who is getting access to what kind of data?
  • What formats are you gonna deliver the data in? Is it a dashboard or raw data?
  • How often are you going to deliver the data? Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly etc.

What are the benefits of having a data strategy?

With all the components in place, you're going to start working in a smarter way. Not only will you have a guide on what type of data, people, tools etc. is needed, you're going to be smarter in the way how you use that data to make decisions.

Another benefit is that you can do more for less. For example can this be lower cost per acquisition, lower cost per click etc. You'll be able to make better decisions that will eventually cost you less money.

Using a data strategy can foster growth within your company as well. You'll be able to adapt faster and more efficiently. One example is looking at the growth of mobile usage and adapting your website to that fact by making it responsive for all devices.

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