A Data Roadmap

Supporting your organisation’s transformation program.

There are many ways you can approach your data program of work within your organisation’s transformation program. The key is having a structured approach, so that all stakeholders have a clear understanding of the process, and can measure progress and success, and so that the project stays on track. In this article we look at one activity that’s beneficial to a data program of work – creating a Data Roadmap that aligns to your transformation program.


What is a Data Roadmap?

Your documented project plan.

A Data Roadmap is your guiding document. It defines the required data capabilities, and the process to achieving these capabilities, to support your transformation program.

The Data Roadmap includes –

  • Required data capabilities covering topics such as data architecture, data governance, data quality, integration, reporting, analytics, metadata, master data, security, and people.
  • Potential other required data activities to support the transformation, such as a data migration.
  • Detailed plan about how to achieve data capabilities including prioritising projects to support the transformation program.
  • Project details such as objectives, description, key activities, dependencies, resourcing, risk, estimated duration, and cost.

The roadmap should also articulate the intended benefits.

Why Develop a Data Roadmap?

One view for all stakeholders.

There will be a range of stakeholders from across your organisation involved in the data program of work.

  • Executives
  • Business (subject matter experts)
  • Technical (subject matter experts)

A Data Roadmap is a communication tool designed to show how the organisation will achieve its targeted future state and how this will support the transformation and beyond.

The Data Roadmap gives all stakeholders visibility of the whole program, not just one element that they may be involved in. It gives people a sense of responsibility, accountability and inclusion. And it reminds people of the planned benefits.

A Data Roadmap simplifies what might actually be a complex series of activities within your transformation program. It breaks a complex program down into manageable steps. It provides step-by-step guidelines to help achieve your transformation.

The Data Roadmap helps people stay on track. Including a timeline and defined priorities, it reminds people of key dates and draws focus back to the data-specific transformation activities.

How to Develop a Data Roadmap

A fundamental approach.

Your organisation’s Transformation Lead is the driver, setting up a project team including the team responsible for the Data Roadmap. The team can be made up of people from within the organisation, and external experts if required. 

The process is most successful if a range of stakeholder groups are first consulted, and workshops then undertaken with subject matter experts.

Although development will commence with a review of existing documentation, consultations will have a strong focus on the future state, with only limited investigation of the current state.

Consultations need to include stakeholders with a good understanding of the organisation’s data, processes, technology and people, as well as the transformation program.

Using the output of the consultations, a gap analysis is undertaken to determine key areas where improvements are required in the organisation’s data capabilities and what is required to support the transformation program. 

Finally, the Data Roadmap is drafted, and endorsed by the project management team.

Put Your Data Roadmap to Work

Maintain the data focus.

You’ve invested time to create a Data Roadmap, so make sure its value is maximised. 

With the roadmap endorsed, and the Data Team established and ready to implement it, use the Data Roadmap as the driver of the data program of work. 

Your Data Roadmap will help the team track transformation progress, and remain motivated and on task.

Use the Data Roadmap to guide implementation, measure data capabilities at various intervals, and frame progress reports. Monitor progress and outcomes using the defined milestones and measurable indicators of completion or success, that are contained within your roadmap.

A Data Roadmap is a live document, so update it if priorities change, and ensure it is continually aligned with the overall organisational transformation plan.

Next Steps

Ensuring data focus to support organisational transformation.

I hope this article helps you structure and manage your data program of work, to support your organisational transformation.

If you’re still in the planning phase, and want a better understanding of why data thinking is important, and where it fits within the organisational transformation process, refer to our earlier articles The Key to Successful Organisational Transformation, and Data Thinking for Organisational Transformation, for the big picture.

Most importantly, continue the data focus – you know we will!

Contact us today, if you’d like to know more about Data Agility and how we can help your business create a Data Roadmap or build data thinking into your Transformation project.


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