4 Top Data Strategy Priorities for Global Data Leaders in 2023

4 Top Data Strategy Priorities for Global Data Leaders in 2023

One of the things I enjoy about my role at Informatica is meeting with people in all types of organizations and from all sorts of industries around the world. One topic that we almost always talk about? How companies use data to become both more resilient and successful.

It’s easy to understand why organizations want to become more data driven: data-driven organizations are primed to deliver better business performance. Employees who don’t have to spend as much time looking for and preparing data are more efficient and productive. Increased collaboration across the organization can improve time to market for key business priorities. This translates into better use of resources and reduced operational costs. And data-driven organizations are more likely to be transparent, delivering improved operational risk management.

How Data Leaders Help Navigate Uncertainty

What’s being prioritized to achieve these goals? Data management and data governance. How do we know? We surveyed 600 top-performing data executives worldwide about their current and future data strategy priorities. This study, conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Informatica, surveyed chief data officers, chief analytics officers, and chief data and analytics officers throughout the United States, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region.

One key finding? Data leaders understand that delivering on business priorities means investing in data and how they manage it: More than 2 in 3 data leaders (68%) predict an increase in data management investments in 2023. 

Savvy data leaders are responding to global economic uncertainty with data strategy initiatives that cut data complexity and produce clear business outcomes. They can deliver better customer experience, optimized supply chains, and improved agility and operational efficiency.

Our study also found many examples of how a maturing data leadership wants more than just data management capabilities. It’s no longer enough to make investments in data and data capabilities. In today’s uncertain economic climate, businesses need to respond quickly to changing circumstances and weather unforeseen challenges. To empower that kind of resiliency and agility, you need:

  • The right strategy.
  • Organizational alignment on strategy.
  • A clear link between the strategy and business outcomes.
  • Prioritization so that you make the right data management investments to support the strategy.

Based on the study’s findings, here are four ways that data-led organizations can put this plan into action:

Aligning Data Strategy to Empower Business Priorities

When data strategies and business strategies are aligned, organizations are more likely to prioritize data management investments. Data leaders feel more empowered and confident about executing their data strategies effectively. And they have greater control over their budgets.

  • 92% of those very or completely aligned feel empowered to execute their current data strategy.
  • 76% of those who reported being very or completely aligned on their data and business strategy also had complete control of their budget.
  • 83% of the data leaders who fully control their data budget are more effective in achieving their data strategy goals.

Investing in Data Democratization, Trust, and Governance

One new and emerging business imperative is establishing or fostering a data-driven culture. Data leaders who want to ensure alignment know they need to prioritize the right kind of investments in data management. The best investments have long-term benefits that promote trust, understanding, and responsible use of data. For 2023, leaders identified these priorities:

  • 52% plan to improve governance over data and data processes.
  • 46% want to improve data-driven culture and data literacy.
  • 44% plan to improve data privacy and security.
  • 42% want to enable effective data sharing, democratization, and use.

Taking a Unified Approach to Manage Data Fragmentation and Complexity

More than half (55%) of the data leaders we surveyed reported that their organization has more than 1,000 sources of data. This often creates a major obstacle: 32% said that the lack of a complete view and understanding of the data estate is why they cannot execute their data strategy.

And data leaders expect that the volume and variety of data sources will only get more complex in 2023. Most data leaders (91%) predict increases in data sources of all types. Respondents also predicted increases as follows:

  • 78% data sources for analytics
  • 77% cloud data stores
  • 77% applications

Since an organization that cannot manage its data volume cannot harness any of the benefits of its data, proactive data leaders know they cannot solve this with one-off, siloed tools. They need to address this challenge with a unified data management approach that provides the flexibility to grow and evolve based on business needs.

Measuring What Matters

The data strategy must enable business outcomes, and our study showed this: Top-performing data leaders want the ability to measure how data strategy impacts business results. Gaining the ability to improve how data is used in business decision making and operational processes was cited by 45% of data leaders.

And data leaders who saw real gains from their strategies and investments were most closely associated with this metric. Ultimately, this shows it is about more than data for data’s sake. It’s about generating real value.

Improving the quality of data was key for many data leaders:

  • 44% want to improve the quality of analytics used for decision making.
  • 44% plan to improve data quality.
  • 47% want to improve the efficiency of their data management and analytics activities.
  • 40% want to improve the timeliness of data delivery.

Empower Data-Led Resiliency

As the pace of business change continues to accelerate, organizations realize that the risk of being left behind is a price they’re unwilling to pay. And gaining timely, business-critical insights from their data and analytics is what data leaders need to do to empower data-led business resiliency. Modern data-driven organizations need an approach that will allow them to:

  • Align data strategy to business strategy.
  • Align organization structures to data strategy.
  • Align data management investments to business use cases.
  • Align tool selection to enterprise standards.

Read the Full Study 

To discover more about what being “data driven” means for today’s data leaders and how you can empower data-led business resiliency for your organization, download your copy of “CDO Insights 2023: How to Empower Data-Led Business Resiliency.

About the Author

Susan Wilson is Informatica’s Group Vice President of Americas Solutions. She is responsible for demonstrating the value Informatica's industry-leading data solutions can provide to customers. Wilson helps customers realize their full potential with practical approaches to implement in the health care, financial, insurance, retail, manufacturing, automotive, and transportation industries. 

Previously, Wilson spent more than a decade as a leader in a large pharmaceutical organization, where she established an industry-leading enterprise data management and data governance program. She led multiple functions, including data architecture, engineering, portfolio management, data governance, and business relationship management.  Wilson built numerous large-scale enterprise solutions connecting strategic business goals with technology during that time.

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