A Data Strategy Framework.
Businesses rely on their data to bridge the gap between strategy and execution, delivering it to their users through a framework and format that is aimed at achieving goals and being profitable. Of course, this is much easier said than done – and the more complex and layered the data is, the harder it is for businesses to effectively develop this framework.
Empowering clients through strategic data architecture.
Every business has a data architecture; however, the cleanliness and usefulness of any business’ data architecture can result in disparate user experiences. The culprit: the underlying data strategy (or lack thereof). It is not uncommon for clients to come to us for a website redesign only to uncover years (and sometimes decades) of “dirty data” – and honestly, we get it. Priorities don’t always fall in the same direction, and as your business grows and expands within the digital landscape, the pressure to introduce more systems also increases. Fast forward twenty years, and that ever-growing landscape starts to feel more and more like a graveyard for your data. Fear not – we’ve got you covered.
Here at SilverTech, we understand the importance in architecting an intuitive and strategic data framework to help our clients prepare for future eCommerce and other data-driven experiences that are critical in achieving their business’ goals online. To do this, we work closely with our clients to uncover the nature, history, usefulness and utilization of their data to better understand strategies for improvement and optimization. If you think of the strategy for architecting a framework for the future the same way you look at building a house, the process looks a lot like this:
Excavation is not about digging the hole, but rather knowing the size and shape of the hole you’ll need to dig. Its primary purpose is to better understand the context of your data’s current structure and saving the fossils you find along the way. The most important part of building a new architecture is understanding what went wrong in the past.
2. Pour the foundation.
Think of the foundation as all the systems needed to act as your data warehouse. The integrity of the foundation will dictate the soundness and structure for the rest of the strategy. The foundation is also critical in establishing consistency and a common vocabulary for your data architecture, which will help to reduce confusion and dataset divergence and make it easier for developers and non-developers to collaborate on the same projects.
3. Put up the beams.
Beams are important for your data architecture because they provide a support system for getting your data from point A to point B. Built upon the foundation, they serve to produce a hierarchical structure that represent relationships where data resources are positioned in such a way that they can be used, shared and moved easily and efficiently.
4. Wire the electrical.
You have your framework in place, your supports are intact, and your foundation is solid. Now it’s time to wire it up with functionality and signals. This is where the most amount of strategy comes into play, involving ideation around where data goes, directionality, points of connection, etc.
5. Fasten the fixtures.
The fixtures are where your data shines through. This is where your users are going to interact with your data, which makes it the most important part. Understanding what your customers need, where they need it, and what’s going to make them want to keep coming back is fundamental when making decisions on how you interface them with your data.
6. Flip the switch.
Take back control of your data and how you utilize it. The switch isn’t necessarily about turning something on and off but rather having a way of managing and being in control of your data and its usefulness to your users. This is called data governance, and is an important step in ensuring the value and quality of your data while preventing “data clutter.”
A future illuminated by data.
Using this process, we helped one of our large manufacturing clients turn away from the past and sprint towards the future with the design of a new digital landscape. Reorganizing and restructuring existing product and SKU data, we architected custom CMS modules that store and share the data to multiple experiences simultaneously. This new data strategy has allowed them to achieve marketing and operational goals efficiently while giving them control back over their data and its usefulness to customers on the website.
The goal of a strategic data architecture is to provide your customers with the data they need whenever and wherever they need it the most when interacting with your website and the systems that promote business goal achievement. A well-constructed data architecture framework also provides you with a platform to better understand your data requirements based on the needs of your business, allowing you to translate your organization’s goals into tangible data requirements.
Do you need help with your data strategy?
At SilverTech, we understand that data is an inherently integral aspect of producing any meaningful online experience. Contact us if you’d like to speak to one of our Solution Architects about ways you can future-proof your digital landscape with a healthy data strategy.