The Modern Data Strategy in the Interop Spotlight

As Interop ITX opened with summits and workshops, experts from Silicon Valley Data Science highlighted some of the new considerations for a modern data strategic plan.

The wide-spread adoption of data initiatives by enterprises highlights the need for new approaches to creating a data strategy. The bottom line is that it's time to recognize that it isn't 2012 any more.

That was the underlying theme as Interop ITX kicked off with the workshop Developing a Modern Enterprise Data Strategy, presented by John Akred, CTO of consultancy Silicon Valley Data Science and Edd Wilder-James, SVDS Vice President for Strategy.

Think back to the typical way organizations kicked off their data strategies a few years ago. They focused only on elements such as taking a data inventory, establishing rules about the life span for certain data types, and which tools were going to be used.

Today, those factors still matter, but crafting the strategy also requires an understanding of what the business wants -- needs -- to do with data, how the company culture and processes have to change, and how to build a partnership between business managers and tech teams.

For a modern data strategy you have to ask, "Can you make sure that what you are going to build is going serve as a foundational element for what you are going to build in future, rather than being a silo?" asked Wilder-James.

Akred added, "It's not a data warehousing strategy. It's what we are doing with data and what can we do to make it work for the organization." Part of that is to identify where there are data gaps, what the company doesn't know about its customers, operations, and other important areas.

The SVDS speakers outlined their methodology for developing a modern data strategy during the session. Key points included the need to define the strategic imperatives of an organization, which, for example, might mean that a healthcare company understands that it wants to provide seamless, integrated care by multiple care providers. Then the organization has to define the business objectives, which in the case of the healthcare company could be to provide better access to electronic health records.