The role of the data management consultant

Although data is a valuable asset, many companies do not treat it as such. Data often flows around the organisation in apparently random, incomplete, incorrect, outdated, or duplicated forms. A fast-moving business tends to have neither the time nor the capability to seriously address these issues. That is when a data management consultant can provide invaluable expertise in addressing the above problems plus the following common reasons for bad data management.

  •         Siloed business areas resulting in siloed practices like data hoarding
  •         Simple lack of knowledge – the business/technology interface is non-existent
  •         Data management processes which are unfit for purpose
  •         Outdated legacy practices in data architecture and storage
  •         Lack of a governance framework for consistent data management

Do I need a Data Management Consultant?

If you want a future-proof data management structure aligned with your strategic and operational aims, the answer is ‘yes’. Even if you are confident that your data management is fit for purpose, you may still be using manual processing or constantly tracking down misplaced data or using several versions of the same data set. These practices consume time and money, have an impact on data quality and divert key people from more important tasks. Data management consultancy services equip you with the wherewithal to address data problems, adopt efficiency measures and learn how to enhance the performance of your data management in pursuit of your business aims.

Is it worth getting a Data Management consultant?

In the case of data management consulting, you need the blend of experience and expertise which enables a good consultant to act as:

  •         A liaison officer
  •         A discoverer – dealing with pain points requires diagnosis
  •         An information gatherer, disseminator, clarifier, and checker
  •         A conduit for enterprise-wide collaboration
  •         A synthesiser of disparate information sources
  •         The conductor of the stakeholder ‘orchestra’, all playing from the same music sheet

 

When it comes to PIM consulting services, a consultant establishes oversight by discovering what makes the business tick. Where product data is concerned, that means assessing and addressing the following data- (and business-) critical areas.

  •         Data governance framework
  •         Data architecture
  •         Data storage and warehousing
  •         Master Data and Metadata Management (MDM)
  •         Data quality control
  •         Data integration and definition
  •         Data transformation (standardisation, enrichment, and formatting)

 

These fields all involve highly specialised knowledge, encompassing administration, research, documentation, optimisation, and maintenance. Don’t depend on the shortcut of asking your IT department to ‘go it alone’ and take responsibility for all the above areas – that’s like asking one mechanic to dismantle, customise and rebuild a car in a day. Moreover, it runs the risk of perpetuating the common problem of siloed information. You need the surety of data management consulting services to meld business solutions with technological capability.

Digitisation projects often involve a transformative change in the business. As with any major project, they require:

  •         A clear business case
  •         A detailed, documented, and measurable vision of the desired end state
  •         Visible, credible, and committed support from C-suite-level leadership
  •         Detailed planning and preparation
  •         Universal buy-in from stakeholders, from end users to budget holders

 

As an independent and objective expert with no departmental axe to grind, the data management consultant is perfectly positioned to make sure all the above factors create an improved outcome for the entire company not only in terms of data management, but on its bottom line.

What does a management consultant actually do?

Clearly, a single data management consultant doesn’t have the range of expertise required to carry out a major project. Moreover, companies come in all sizes and situations. They have varying levels of digital maturity and require the input and support of some, or all of the consultant profiles below.

Additionally, bear in mind that you may be dealing with product bundles or composites, relationships among different products and an enormous number of product attributes.

What Questions Should I Ask a Data Management Consultant?

Added value for your business

    Which of our business areas can be improved through better data management?

  •         What key business metrics will measure your consultant’s added value to the project?
  •         What’s the required scope of the project?
  •         What access do you need to personnel? Who is involved to ensure we gain maximum value from your interventions?
  •         How closely do you work with application and system owners who will be accountable for data discovery, proces   

The solution vendor partner

Does the vendor:

  •         have the requisite experience and resources across the technology stack?
  •         have a significant body of experience in our industry or business function?
  •         have a clear project strategy for knowledge transfer to stakeholders and users?
  •         provide training, workshops, and other learning engagement?
  •         address integration among the core business systems (CRM, ERP, FP&A, etc.) we currently use?

SWD Data Management Consulting Services

At Start with Data, we have a team of expert and highly experienced Data management consultants in several sectors and specialities. The value of their consulting prowess is proven through hundreds of client engagements.

Our services ensure that only the relevant data management consultants are engaged alongside your chosen vendor at every stage of our delivery model:

  •         Discovery, planning and strategising
  •         Designing, building, implementing, and optimising
  •         Support, maintenance, and education

 

Throughout, we place a premium on stakeholder engagement because it is people who drive organisations. For our data management consultants, people skills count, to help gain an understanding of where the organisation is aiming for, how it operates and what makes its people tick.

Ready to deliver your PIM implementation?​

For retailers and distributors

We have a highly experienced team of retail PIM consultants ready to support your implementation from supplier onboarding through to customer experience

Ben Adams, CEO

For brands and manufacturers

We can help get your products onto the digital shelf, with our accelerators

Beth Parker, PIM Consultant