Hide and Seek. It is a game so many children play every day and is shared across generations because of the thrilling anticipation of finding and being found.
I introduced “Hide and Seek” to my three children years ago and have played the game with them hundreds of times. As toddlers, my children found plenty of creative places to hide – behind curtains, under couches, in a clothes hamper. With time they quickly learned they were running out of places they could fit and yet remain concealed – they were getting too big and needed a new strategy. So they moved the game outdoors, added neighbors to the game, and now the game became more complex. No longer were they limited to hiding or seeking within the confines of a room, but the unbounded, great outdoors and more children to find.
And isn’t “Hide and Seek” similar to our experiences with enterprise data strategy? Early in the maturation cycle of an organization, it’s much like playing hide and seek in a house; finding the data and turning it into useful information was like me finding my child – there were only so many places he could be hiding. The data was initially difficult to uncover as you sought it out across your enterprise systems (the proverbial rooms of the house), but it was found hiding here and there.
As the enterprise matures and evolves, new business strategies are defined and we find the game (and our data) moved outdoors into more unbounded spaces and complex hiding spots – concealed in the trees, bushes and buildings of SaaS applications, cloud services, data warehouses, data lakes and the like – making the data increasingly difficult and complex to find. We know the data is out there along with the potential to unlock key business insights, but we need to adapt our strategies and processes to become better seekers.
Key Components of Data and Analytics Strategies that Enable Effective Seeking and Finding
When it comes to enterprise data, an important part of determining your overall strategy is capturing a realistic view of the current state of the organization and understanding the vision for the future state. There are a number of key elements to assess and help paint the picture, including business alignment, people, process, and technology.