Optimizing your Data Operating Model

Optimizing your Data Operating Model

- by Samir Sharma, Expert in Data Analytics & BI

Are data requests drowning your team day in day out?

1. Are you being bombarded from all sides with urgent data needs.
2. Do you have a never-ending to-do list, constant pressure to catch up.
3. Prioritisation becomes a guessing game, leading to anxiety.
4. Valuable data work gets buried under less impactful requests.
5. Time spent on unimportant tasks, hindering strategic impact.

I’m currently working with a data team in a global organization that is feeling all of the above.

The backlog grows, stress builds, valuable insights get lost, and someone gets the blame!

Sound familiar?

This is where I find many teams lack a proper Operating Model and within that a Demand Management Process.

If you are experiencing this, then here are some strategies for you:

👉Ditch the email black hole, IT service desk volley or the Slack firehose.

Do this: create a central hub for clear, concise requests. With a set of questions, the requester has to complete. Make it as business-motivated as possible.

👉Not all requests are created equal. Categorise requests by impact.

Do this: Is it a quick win “XS” or a strategic game-changer “XL”? I normally create a scoring template that supports this which is very easy to use. Come up with whatever makes sense for your business.

👉Focus on impact, not urgency.

Do this: Prioritise requests based on their potential to drive real business value, not just the squeakiest wheel.

👉Every request should tie back to a specific business goal.

Do this: What problem are we solving? What’s the potential return on investment (ROI)? Which requests will yield the most significant financial or strategic benefits?

👉Not everything needs to be perfect! Sometimes, “good enough” data is good enough for a decision.

Do this: Explore alternatives: Can we answer the question with existing data? Can we self-serve users with dashboards or reports?

Take a deep breath. The sky isn’t falling down on your head!

I help data teams implement these strategies and build an operating model that gets results.