5 Steps for Building a Successful Data Product Strategy

big data

By Suki Dhuphar

Over 90% of organisations have data initiatives planned for 2023, yet Tamr research has shown that more than half are still facing challenges in realising business value from their company data. The reason for this is that these organisations fail to take one necessary action – treating their data like a product.

Financial services are sitting in one of the most data-rich industries. However, despite all this data on offer, traditional organisations in this field are not fully utilising this data to reap maximum value, provide personalised services to clients and address business challenges such as fraud. Here in fact is a lesson to be learnt from fintech challengers. Product strategies have significantly helped these organisations to thrive and apply similar processes to make the most of the data. 

The importance of data products

So, what are data products? Simply put, they are the best version of data. They are accessible, trustworthy and high-quality, meaning they can be applied to business challenges to produce effective outcomes. For financial services in particular, data products generate a structure to the processes, technology and ownership necessary to provide businesses with clean, curated, continuously updated data.

For an organisation in this industry to build, implement and continually develop a successful data product strategy, it should follow these 5 key considerations.

1. Think about why

Before starting to create a data product strategy, a financial services organisation needs to define the objectives that it wants the business to achieve. This means starting small and identifying a specific aim which reflects the organisation’s priorities, such as simplifying to lower costs or transforming business portfolios for growth. From here, a company can align with stakeholders from IT, leadership and line of business (LOB). They will all be working together and so cooperation is crucial to success. 

For any financial services companies that are not certain on where to start, it is recommended to use customer data. From here, so many opportunities can be created by utilising customer data products, from increased visibility of customer journeys, to improved customer experience, targeting and conversion rates.

2. Understand your data

Now the objective has been defined, an organisation will need to determine whether it has the capacity to implement a data product strategy. To do this it will need to understand where the data lives, if it is accurate and complete, how often it is updated and whether it is integrated across departments. This shows the true quality of the data at hand and allows to budget resources effectively.

From here, a business can begin to develop the team and assign responsibilities to build and manage the development of a data platform across departments and identify research gaps early.

3. Outline your use case

Now, it’s time to begin – and this starts by outlining a use case based around existing challenges. This ensures the data product actively influences business outcomes. It is likely that the leaders of different lines of business, for example, marketing, R&D, or procurement, have a problem that is preventing them from reaching their respective objectives. Defining a use case can allow the organisation’s leaders to focus on increasing revenue, controlling costs, or managing risks. If it can be clearly explained why a data product is needed to the leaders in an organisation, that will help them to piece everything together and understand how the data product will benefit them.

4. Obtain leadership buy-in

In order to progress with a use case, the appropriate funding, support and resources to back the project must be ensured. Sharing a use case and roadmap will make it clear how value will be demonstrated in the short term and how the data product will evolve to increase its value.

It should also outline how to best measure success, and this should be done with KPIs that align with goals and show everyone what success looks like for that financial services organisation.

5. Establish a minimum viable data product

Once budget and buy-in is secured, it’s time to implement the strategy. This means developing a minimum viable data product (MVDP). With this, start small and deliver a few more capabilities and a little more value with every data product released. This will drive the adoption of the data product with the eventual aim of securing additional resources and funding in the future.

It is important to rely on LOB partners and their understanding of how to use the data product and apply it to existing working practices. That’s where expertise is crucial, as it can show them how a data product strategy can enhance processes. Finally, absorb all feedback and apply it to future releases to generate even greater value for end users.

The true value of your data

Data products are truly the best version of data. By learning from these key 5 recommendations for success, business leaders in financial services will be able to create more meaningful solutions and better compete with fintech challengers, as well as other more traditional competitors in the playing field. 

In order to innovate, those in financial services must recognise data as an asset and see a data product strategy as a crucial component to generate greater value for all. By doing so, these businesses can evolve and offer personalised services to customers and address business challenges, to reduce risk and facilitate long-term growth.

This article was originally published on 14 May 2023.

About the Author

Suki Dhuphar is the current head of EMEA at Tamr. Suki has over 17 years of experience in the telecommunications and software industries. Suki has worked with some of the world’s largest companies, including Comverse, Martin Dawes Systems, Hansen Technologies, and Servista. In their current role, they are responsible for managing Tamr’s relationships with its European customers. Suki has a deep understanding of the needs of their customers and is able to provide them with creative solutions to their unique problems.


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