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In today's data-driven world, effective data transformation is essential for organisations to succeed. By leveraging the power of data transformation, organisations can gain deeper insights, improve decision-making, and drive greater business value.
Data transformation refers to the process of converting data from one format, structure, or type to another to make it more accessible, accurate, and useful. Organisations need data transformation because they generate large amounts of data in different formats, from various sources, and for different purposes.
Some of the key challenges faced by organisations undertaking data transformation include:
- Legacy systems not supporting modern data formats and analytical tools.
- Different systems within the organisation are not ‘talking to each other’ and restricting effective team collaboration.
- Data quality and data security breaches are caused due to unclear data governance policies and procedures.
- Struggling to integrate data from multiple sources into a single, usable format.
To save you time, I’ve summarised the points below to consider when thinking about making transformational change in your organisation relating to data, and what you would need to achieve it (in no particular order).
1. Data Governance: Establishing and enforcing policies, standards, and procedures that define how data is collected, stored, processed, and shared across the organisation. The key resources required for this area include:
a. A data governance specialist to establish and implement policies, standards, and procedures.
b. A data governance framework and associated tools to support compliance monitoring and enforcement. Tools: IBM cloud Pac for data, or Informatica.
c. Training and awareness programs to educate employees and stakeholders about the importance of data governance.
2. Data Architecture: Designing and maintaining a scalable and adaptable data architecture that supports the diverse needs of the organisation. The key resources required for this area include:
a. A data architect to design and implement an enterprise-wide data architecture that aligns with business requirements and objectives.
b. Data modelling and database design tools to support data architecture design and maintenance. Tools: Tableau, DbScheme, Lucidchart.
c. A data integration platform to enable seamless integration of data across the organisation.
3. Master Data Management: Implementing a master data management (MDM) strategy is critical for ensuring that your data is consistent and accurate across all systems and applications.
a. A Chief data officer to create a master data model, define data ownership and stewardship and implement data quality controls.
b. MDM platform to leverage AI and automation for identifying, matching, and merging data across the different systems that hold it, and clean the data with the applications, systems, and analytics that need it. Tools: IBM MDM, Azure MDM, AWS MDM.
4. Data Analytics: Developing and deploying analytical tools and techniques to gain insights and improve decision-making across the organisation. The key resources required for this area include:
a. A data analyst or data scientist to develop and deploy analytical models and algorithms.
b. Data analytics platforms and tools to support data exploration, visualisation, and analysis. Tools: PowerBi, Tableau, Zoho.
c. Training and awareness programs to educate employees and stakeholders about the benefits of data analytics.
5. Data Security: Ensuring data confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data across the organisation. The key resources required for this area include:
a. A cybersecurity specialist to develop and implement data security policies and procedures.
b. Security technologies such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and data encryption solutions to protect data from unauthorised access, theft, and misuse.
c. Training and awareness programs to educate employees and stakeholders about the importance of data security.
6. Data Quality: Ensuring the accuracy, completeness, and consistency of data across the organisation. The key resources required for this area include:
a. A data quality specialist to develop and implement data quality policies and procedures.
b. Data quality tools to support data profiling, cleansing, and standardisation. Tools: IBM MDM or Informatica MDM (Data quality is supported within MDM).
c. Training and awareness programs to educate employees and stakeholders about the importance of data quality.
By focusing on these key areas, you can develop a comprehensive data transformation strategy that will enable you to leverage the full potential of your data.
- To implement the above programme plan, you’ll require the following resources:
- A budget allocation for personnel, technologies, and tools required for each key area.
- A project management framework to ensure timely and effective delivery of programme objectives.
- A governance structure to oversee the programme and ensure alignment with organisational goals, priorities, and third-party management.
- Collaboration and engagement with stakeholders across the organisation to ensure their input and buy-in into the programme.
We would be happy to discuss this further and provide additional guidance on how to implement these strategies within your organisation.
About the author:
Asad Ansari is the Founder and Managing Director at Mayfair IT Consultancy, a data transformation specialist organisation helping private and public sector clients champion data and digital transformation. In 2023 under Asad’s continuous leadership, Mayfair IT Consultancy as a SME-certified Ethnic Minority Business (EMB) partnered with IBM and Deloitte to strengthen their client offering.
Some of the notable clients Asad has led programmes with are Deloitte, Barclays, Aviva, Nomura, Virgin Money (CYBG), the AIM stock market, UK IPO, DWP, and KBR.
Throughout his career, Asad has launched start-ups in Education, and Risk Management with successful exits by working across the UK and overseas along with the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Away from business, Asad is a Freeman for the City of London and the youngest Asian board member with the Royal Air Force Museums (RAFM) working on a regeneration programme at the Cosford site in West Midlands, a board member for the Ministry of Defense (MOD) interfaith and communications committee, a British Asian Trust supporter, and an Ambassador for Graham Layton Trust.