3 fundamentals for supercharging your data strategy

Modern enterprises are swimming in data. How can they turn that data into a business asset and win buy-in from the organization? It takes a bold strategy and attention to the fundamentals, experts say.

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- If data truly is among an enterprise's greatest assets, CIOs must be able to produce tangible demonstrations of how all that information can be marshaled to advance the business.

Or make employees more productive.

Or improve the customer experience.

Whatever the ultimate aim is, smart enterprises are developing full-fledged strategies to try to break down barriers between data silos and unlock meaningful insights from those vast pools of data, experts said at the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium last month.

"We are swimming in data, and we know we need to make money from it, but not the way we used to," said Barbara Haley Wixom, principal research scientist at the MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research.

"That doesn't work today," Wixom said of the walled-garden approach that firms are moving away from. "Today our data strategies require bold moves, really new ideas."

Experts agree that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to an enterprise data strategy, and that any such initiative must be tailored to the contours of the firm and the industry in which it operates.

But there are several common thematic elements that will accompany a successful data overhaul.

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