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Modernizing Your Data? Here's When to Hire a Data Consultant.

May 7, 2020
Nick Amabile

You know it’s time to overhaul your organization’s data practices. The reason is simple. Your data solution no longer serves your day-to-day business needs.

Perhaps you must rely on your IT team to run reports, and the lag time between requests and insights is far too long. Maybe your data isn’t granular or flexible enough to support your business in making the most informed decisions. Or it could be that your business model is shifting, and your data and reporting infrastructure isn’t equipped to evolve with you.

The specifics may vary, but the root problem is the same: Your data serves up more headaches than solutions. 

The logical next step is to modernize your data. For many organizations, that means restructuring your data and migrating to the cloud. It’s a major undertaking with the potential to radically improve your business’s ability to fully leverage its data

Unfortunately, companies that attempt to make this shift without the help of outside experts frequently end up with a brand new set of tools — and all the same old problems. 

The better move is to engage with a seasoned data analytics expert like DAS42. Here’s why. 

Why a "Lift and Shift" Data Migration Strategy Will Likely Fail 

When organizations attempt to migrate their data to the cloud on their own, their approach is usually what we like to call a “lift and shift” strategy. That is, they “lift” all their old, legacy system approaches and attempt to simply transfer or “shift” them to the cloud. When they do this, they inevitably wind up more or less where they started off — with the same old data challenges continuing to rear their heads. 

What gives?

The reality is that simply moving to cloud-based tools won’t solve your data problems. It’s part of the equation, but by no means is it the full solution. 

You see, truly modernizing your firm’s data solution means rethinking the way your organization gathers, processes, and leverages data to arrive at actionable insights. You need a modern data analytics strategy to drive the way you architect and utilize the most cutting-edge data analytics technology. 

Most of the time, that means starting from scratch. You must begin with your most pressing business objectives and spin up a data strategy that supports and furthers those goals. As data analysts and business consultants, DAS42 steps into the gap and helps your team connect your firm’s business goals to a customized data analytics strategy — and all the right tools to keep it humming. 

Creating a Modern, Data-Driven Corporate Culture 

The good news? When you decide to modernize your data, you give your firm the opportunity to completely reframe the way it approaches data. That means going beyond the tools and looking at your internal culture.  

It’s not enough to introduce your team to a flashy new set of cloud-based data analytics tools and leave it at that. You must back it up with a broader rollout strategy and an intentional change management effort. In order to gain traction, you must earn your staff’s buy-in and make sure they have the proper training to make the tools their own.

The importance of empowering your staff with data literacy can’t be overstated. To successfully navigate your transition to the cloud and achieve your business goals, you have to start thinking from a lot of different perspectives. What is the sales team hoping to achieve through data modernization? What about the marketing team? How can IT better communicate with the business side to ensure a smooth transition?

When we work with a client to modernize their data, we also take the lead in crafting a comprehensive change management plan to ensure that the new data strategy is successfully implemented within the client’s organization. This includes everything from training and documentation to data governance and ongoing support. 

Wondering When to Engage a Data Analytics Consultancy? The Short Answer is Now. 

If you’re reading this and considering modernizing your data without outside assistance, ask yourself this. Do you have the resources in place to: 

  • Thoughtfully select from among thousands of cloud-based data tools to create a smoothly integrated stack?  
  • Seamlessly migrate your existing data to your new toolset? 
  • Craft a business-driven data analytics strategy that connects your firm’s primary growth objectives to data analytics? 
  • Properly train your staff on the new system? 
  • Build a data governance framework? 

If the answer to any of those questions is no, it’s time to consider bringing in a data analytics expert. The earlier in the planning process you engage with a consultancy, the better your results will be. 

DAS42 guides clients through the entire process from technology selection and project planning to data strategy and governance. We’ll help you start thinking realistically about the data needs of the many diverse groups within your organization. We will analyze your strategic goals and help you create a comprehensive roadmap for supporting those goals with your most valuable resource: your data. Further, we’ll help you make critical changes to your culture that will ensure the success of your data modernization project for years to come. 

Finally, we’ll mitigate the risks involved with data modernization. By guiding you in selecting the right tools, building the best-fit strategy, and planning a proactive rollout, we’ll provide your team with everything needed to revolutionize the way you use data. The result? Faster, more flexible data-driven insights at your entire organization’s fingertips. 

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