Oakland Group

How to deliver a successful data strategy presentation to the board

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, the pursuit of data-driven excellence has become a common theme. Companies large and small are eager to extract more value from their data and make smarter, more informed decisions. CEOs and executives have embraced the importance of data, recognising it as a key driver of success. However, the path to becoming truly data-driven is often strewn with challenges, and the gap between ambition and reality has never been wider; combined with the onslaught of Artificial Intelligence, the business case for data has never been stronger.

Despite this, many organisations are still grappling with fundamental questions and business problems:

These challenges underscore the critical need for a comprehensive data strategy that unifies your efforts behind a clear vision and a compelling case for change rooted in your business objectives and priorities.

Creating and executing a successful data strategy is a complex undertaking, and the process of presenting it to the board can be particularly daunting. This is where storytelling emerges as an invaluable skill for data leaders. Drawing upon our extensive experience in effectively engaging with boards and senior forums, these are our top tips on how to master the art of storytelling and make your data strategy presentation resonate with key stakeholders.

Understanding the Board: Before diving into your presentation, it’s essential to grasp the role and expectations of the board. Unlike traditional strategy and delivery forums focused on content, requirements, and delivery packages, the board represents company shareholders. They prioritise strategy, governance, corporate plans, risks, employees, customers, and transformation matters. Your presentation must align with their high-level, strategic, business-centric perspective.

Preparation is Key: Success in presenting your data strategy to the board hinges on meticulous preparation. Here are some critical steps to ensure you are well-prepared for the pivotal meeting:

On the Day of the Board Meeting: Despite thorough preparation, it’s natural to feel nervous on the day. Remember that board members are human, just like you, and they are there to listen to valuable content. Here’s how to navigate the actual presentation:

Measuring Success: A successful board meeting is marked by meaningful engagement, discussion, and challenge. It provides an opportunity to gauge whether you are heading in the right direction and whether you have adequately prepared. Look for take-away actions that align with the board’s interests for future sessions, and aim to provide board members with a checklist for understanding success in terms they can relate to.

In conclusion, you’ve reached a significant milestone by presenting your data strategy to the board. This journey is not just about what data can do for your company; it’s about what your company is doing for data. By mastering the art of storytelling and adhering to these best practices, you can successfully bridge the gap between data aspiration and boardroom achievement, ultimately driving innovation, competitiveness, and sustained growth.

Author: Frank Brugnot