Today’s businesses are driven by data. The vast amount of data that companies generate and amass on a day-to-day basis is at the heart of unlocking new opportunities, developing their processes and fulfilling their true potential.
However, this is typically only true for organisations who have gotten to grips with data governance. It is one thing to create and collect data – it is another thing entirely to truly own, understand and utilise it.
Consider your own company for a moment – do you have answers to the following?
- What does the data we’ve collected actually mean?
- Can I trust our data?
- Where did our data come from?
- Is our data compliant?
- How do I find our data?
If you answered no to one or more of these, it is a sign you do not have governance over your data. Fortunately, if you have identified this as a concern, a product master solution can make a world of difference in harnessing the substantial data that a company compiles.
However, these solutions represent an investment, and that requires the support of those with the power to make that investment. Your C-suite executives, managing directors, partnering investors – they all need to be on board with the solution and recognise the value in it in order to invest time, money and other resources into making it a reality.
And that is when a business case comes in handy.
What is a business case?
The core purpose of a business case is pretty straightforward – it’s the arguments, documentation and evidence required to get business-wide buy-in on a proposed solution or project. In practice, this consists of elements like:
- The reasons why a product master solution is required
- The risks that exist as a result of not having this solution in place
- The various options available to the business to remedy the presented problem
- The timescales and costs associated with the project
- The expected return on investment the solution will generate
- The organisation-wide benefits that the solution offers the company
By identifying the objectives, costs and ROI of a data initiative in one comprehensive proposal, a business case opens the door to constructive discussions with company executives, investors and sponsors over a product master solution.
It pools together all the relevant information to justify proceeding with the project. The benefits to the bottom-line. The increased efficiency of every aspect of the business. The value that having complete governance of data offers the company’s development. It all needs to be there in order to gain support and secure the necessary funding.
If you would like to learn more about the necessary steps and components behind a business case, read our article “The 7 essential steps to building a business case“.
When would you need a business case?
Of course, if the executive layer of your company is on board with a solution from the outset, a business case won’t be necessary (although it could still be effective in explaining the solution to other departments). But, say your proposal is:
- Struggling to attract the budget it requires;
- Lacking support from executives/investors;
- Lacking support from IT stakeholders; or
- Hampered by a general lack of understanding over company data.
In these scenarios, a business case becomes vital in getting a data initiative off the ground so it can start making a positive difference.
It is important to remember that data governance requires support across all areas of an organisation to be truly effective. Even one department not buying into the solution means its data is not being fully governed – this leads to data being misinterpreted or misplaced, which can then cause revenue losses, compliance issues and a decline in company reputation.
The biggest hurdle that any data initiative has to overcome is gaining buy-in across an organisation. Particularly for company executives and IT departments, a business case will be central to securing their support, which will then be pivotal in getting the project launched.
The incredible value of a business case
Fundamentally, a business case is all about education. It is designed to help people across an organisation understand why a data initiative is required. It’s about putting things into terms that they will see as clear signs that this project will make the company stronger than it was previously regarding their data governance.
This is something our team at Fundipedia has become adept at demonstrating in the business cases we have helped our clients create over the years. If they have seen and understood the value that our solutions can have in helping them harness and activate data within their company, we use our experience and understanding to help them translate this to others in their organisation.
By delivering this education and understanding of the costs, returns and benefits of the solution in question, an effective business case will do most of the selling of the project for you. It should achieve this by:
- Highlighting the dangers of NOT proceeding with this initiative
- Informing all departments of the potential value that their data holds
- Presenting how the reporting, managing and overall control of data will be enhanced
- Demonstrating how it will be possible to understand the origin and nature of data moving forward
- Accounting for increases in data volume and regulatory requirements over time
Beyond the proposal and launch of a project, a business case also then acts as the guiding light as the initiative proceeds until completion. It should be flexible to account for any changes to the business environment and, when the product master solution is established, it can be referred back to clarify if all costs and financial returns were achieved, allowing for any issues to be identified and lessons to be learned for the future.
Through this, a business case has immense value in the formation, execution and evaluation of a data initiative. It should get everybody on the same page in regards to why this solution is useful, set the wheels in motion in bringing it to life, and pave the way for an organisation to control and use their data for their own benefit.
Building your business case
Now that you have a deeper understanding of what a business case is, when it is effective and why it offers tremendous value in taking a data initiative forward, we hope you are in a position to use this knowledge to push your projects forward in future.
If you need support with this, Fundipedia has backed the development of many business cases over the years. With decades of experience between us, we help you bring together the various quantitative and qualitative elements of an initiative together in one comprehensive proposal, including additional presentations and case studies, all with the goal of reassuring your team to proceed with your project with complete confidence.
Get in touch with our team if you would like to know more about our approach to building business cases or our powerful data governance solutions.