How to plan your data analytics strategy

Date: Friday, April 12, 2024

Data. We know it holds power but it’s not always obvious how to use it to your advantage. 

If you’re an organisation looking to develop a data analytics strategy it takes careful planning, user insight, and a clear roadmap.  

We thought we’d share with you the Village Blueprint. Regardless of sector or size, this is the six-step process we use to develop a data analytics strategy for a wide range of organisations.  

Throughout the process the focus is on using data assets to give more insight into all departments and aligning this with wider KPIs and performance objectives.  

  1. Identification of key people 

Perhaps the most important part of the process is to select the right areas you need analytics on and the right people from those departments to bring into the process.  We work with senior leaders to identify decision makers and influencers who will be enthusiastic and keen to get better data to improve their work.  

  1. What insights are needed at business and department level 

Once we’ve identified the key people, they will contribute to the strategy by providing:  

  • Information about insights they need that they don't currently get 
  • What data they'd like to analyse more 
  • The style of analysis that will work for their area 
  • Where they currently believe the data sources are  

Our team will hold meetings with each department to understand their processes and to draw this insight out. It’s also useful to have someone from the senior leadership team that can oversee all these department level sessions to align the overall KPI’s and business strategy with these insights.  

  1. Identification of the data that will deliver these insights 

Working on a department level we quickly start to draw out the data sources that have the potential to deliver insights. Often this will involve multiple data sources and a picture will begin to emerge of where the integration points need to be.  For example if someone is managing production, they might benefit from seeing workforce information like shift patterns alongside production data on the shop floor and overall costs.  

  1. Building the data integration matrix 

From the information we collect in these sessions we can start to develop an integration matrix. This shows where the data needs of departments and functions overlap and is the foundation for a design architecture that will deliver an analytics strategy that works for the entire organisation. 

Developing the matrix is a collaboration between our experts and the internal teams. Establishing what analysis they need every day, every week, every month, and aligning this with the corporate KPIs.  

  1. The design and architecture of the solution

 With the integration matrix ready it’s time for our system architects – and the internal IT team – to get to work. The matrix really does all the heavy lifting and at this stage the main decisions are around the how to make it happen and integrate it into current systems. Conversations around security policy, data warehouses, firewalls, data lakes, cloud/hybrid/on-site storage, all contribute to this. We can then architect options that suit where the client is now, and in the future to enable growth.  

  1. Deciding on the preferred reporting tool 

With all the foundations in place the final step is choosing the reporting tool and training day-to-day users to get the best out of it. 90% of the projects we work on use either Tableau, Qlik, or Power BI and they all provide the data visualisations end users will be looking for.  While we have experts in our team in all three, we are Microsoft Partners so do recommend Power BI as it delivers a great product for a good price point.  


If you’re looking for support with your data analytics strategy and want some advice from our expert team, we’d love to hear from you. Get in contact here

Graham James

Graham's background is in Enterprise Information Solutions within the Manufacturing, Education, Healthcare and Supply Chain sectors. The depth of his Board level experience in IT adds dynamism to the management team to grow in traditional and new markets.

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