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Crafting a Data Strategy Roadmap: A Step-by-Step Guide

What is a Data Strategy Roadmap?

A data strategy roadmap is a written plan of how an organization will gather, store, and use data to achieve its goals. Since data is the lifeblood of an organization, having a plan for harvesting data insights is crucial for business growth. Dive into the benefits of an efficient data strategy roadmap, its key components, and how to build one, to turn your business data into sustainability.


"Having a data strategy roadmap provides an opportunity for organizations to maximize data-driven business outcomes while minimizing time spent on missed insights. When done correctly, a data strategy roadmap can ultimately make the difference in an organization having competitive industry and financial advantages."- Saffra Parks, Data Engineer at JourneyTEAM


how to craft a data strategy roadmap

Who is a Data Strategy Roadmap For?

C-suite and leadership teams often create and refer to data strategy roadmaps. This is because they are the key decision-makers and are using the organizations' data to drive those decisions. Although leadership often creates and observes the roadmap, everyone in the organization benefits from it. Project managers, technical staff, and other users use data daily, so it's crucial to align the efforts of multiple roles with the business’s goals.


What Does a Good Data Strategy Roadmap Look Like?

Data strategy roadmaps can look different from organization to organization. Factors such as size, location, technologies used, and goals can influence how the roadmap looks, and which details are included. Many data roadmaps include flow charts showing the flow of information, systems, users, and goals. Charts are also great for showing results and usage, and simple pictures can be helpful in explaining complicated technology terms.


Here are three examples of what an effective data strategy roadmap looks like:

1. A step diagram to portray the larger milestones in the process and how they flow.


data strategy roadmap example 1

2. This example shows the data strategy roadmap divided into categories, making it easier to tackle the topics and tasks within each one.


data strategy roadmap example 2

3. This example lays out each phase and how it relates to the next, leading to the roadmap being implemented, and continually evaluated.


data strategy roadmap example 3

What are the Key Components of a Data Strategy Roadmap?

Defining the key components of a data strategy roadmap will lead to the HOW and WHAT is required to reach those large organizational goals we keep mentioning. How is your data going to be lassoed to transform into the insights you’re after? The components that make up your data strategy roadmap include, but are not limited, to:

  1. Timeline

  2. Resources

i. Technology

ii. People

3. Deliverables

4. Budget

The paramount component of a data strategy roadmap is of course, data. Knowing how to manage data in your roadmap can be done by creating data plans. Some examples of those plans are:

  1. Analytics Plan - Create a data analysis procedure to facilitate informed decision-making.

  2. Governance Plan - Formulate a robust governance framework to manage data assets.

  3. Quality Assurance Plan - Keep data standards high for trustworthy reporting.

Data Strategy Roadmap Outcomes

Once an organization has created and implemented a data strategy roadmap, users begin seeing the following outcomes over time:

  • Cost savings due to packaged licensing costs, and combined data systems

  • Better allocation of budget and resources due to outlined role assignments and timelines

  • Heightened awareness regarding data systems, storage, security, integrations, flow, etc.

  • Performance analytics and insights are more readily available thanks to harnessed data and visualizations

  • Increased ability to pivot based on data and reports

  • Streamlined efficiency for compliance and security adherence

  • A competitive edge with predictive data on industry changes and trends

  • Increased productivity and collaboration among team members

  • Improved overall user experience with data consolidation and simple dashboards


man at computer with data

How to Build the Best Data Strategy Roadmap for Your Organization

Again, data strategy roadmaps vary depending on numerous factors. The following steps are broad and are fit for any organization. Take more steps if necessary or consult with a technology partner to verify your work and ensure you haven't overlooked anything. Visually organize and map out the items in a way that makes sense, using the examples above as a guide.


1. Identify larger goals and the value you want data to bring to your business.

a. Many data strategy roadmaps include goals for 3-7 years out and re-evaluate as time progresses.

2. Outline KPIs that chip away at the larger goals. These are the success measures that result along the way, signifying success.

3. Allocate resources and technologies that will be required.

4. Determine processes that contribute to the data roadmap strategy and categorize them depending on the technology, or KPI associated.

5. Continually re-evaluate the data strategy roadmap to track progress and continue to scale goals with the organization’s growth.


Customer Example

Challenge: An equipment manufacturing company was facing challenges in optimizing its production processes, reducing downtime, and making impactful data-driven decisions. They produced and shipped thousands of items each day, which led to problems harnessing data and effectively tracking production. They needed a solution to align their data efforts with their overall business goals, improve data quality, and gain valuable production insights.


Solution: This manufacturer partnered with JourneyTEAM, a leading data strategy and technology consulting firm, to create a well-defined data strategy and roadmap tailored to their unique needs.

The Implementation Process:

  1. Data engineering specialists from JourneyTEAM worked closely with the manufacturer's team to analyze and align data efforts with the company's overall organizational goals and manufacturing strategies. This included:

    • A thorough assessment of the manufacturer's current data landscape was conducted, identifying data sources, data quality issues, and potential security and compliance gaps.

    • Defining policies, procedures, and standards to ensure data quality, privacy, security, and compliance, aligning with industry best practices.

    • A gap analysis to identify the metrics necessary for extracting critical business insights, enabling the manufacturer to understand what data was missing and how to acquire it.

  2. Documentation was refactored and improved, ensuring clarity and accessibility.

  3. Peer review processes validated the accuracy and effectiveness of the data roadmap.

  4. The final versions of the roadmap and associated documentation was reviewed with the manufacturer's project team, then pitched to the entire company. The roadmap will be revisited each January.

Deliverables: The manufacturer received a custom, detailed data roadmap that included the following:

  • A diagram illustrating the current data architecture and recommended improvements, ensuring a clear visualization of the proposed changes.

  • A comprehensive plan to enhance data quality, privacy, security, and compliance.

  • Optimized production processes, reducing downtime and improving operational efficiency.

  • Recommendations of the tools necessary to make data-driven decisions that positively impact their bottom line.


Ready to Turn Your Data Into Golden Insights?

Read more about maximizing the value of your business data and reaching your strategic data goals.

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