Unlock your data’s potential: 6 pillars to assess & improve data maturity

How to understand your data maturity position and why it matters? 

Like many innovations in organisations, data maturity is often described as a journey, and if you don’t know where you are on that journey, how can you know where you’re heading and how to get there?  

In today’s data-driven world, having a clear understanding of your organisation’s data maturity is crucial to achieving your goals and making more informed decisions. By evaluating your data maturity level, you can identify gaps in your data management practices and develop strategies to fill those gaps. Talking to our customers we often find that a crucial part of this evaluation is understanding the variation in opinion across teams. This can be a significant barrier, as if there is a lack of agreement on where you are and where you want to be, then everyone is embarking on different journeys. 

It is also important to select the right level of target data maturity that suits your business and its operational and strategic goals. Having the perfect plan, platform, processes, investment, people and reporting, doesn’t necessarily mean you are data mature, it has to be appropriate for you and your organisation’s needs. Sometimes, good enough, is perfect! 

Looking to understand where your organisation stands on the data maturity journey?  

Use these six fundamental principles of data maturity to gain insight into your organisation’s current data maturity position and identify areas where your data strategy may need improvement.  


6 Pillars of Data Maturity are:   

  • The right PLAN 

A clear data roadmap and data analytics strategy fully integrated into the overall business strategy of the organisation and communicated effectively to every business team. 

  • The right PLATFORM

An integral scalable data platform providing timely data insights to support decision-making with a phased plan for upgrading legacy technology.  

  • The right PROCESS  

The data platform is up to date, aligned with information governance and security policies and procedures, regularly scanned to identify and address vulnerabilities. 

  • The right INVESTMENT  

Understanding the financial value of data and ways to monetise it, with the right level of investment in the data platform to meet all requirements.  

  • The right PEOPLE

Using well-defined roles and a highly skilled team enables the organisation to make informed technology choices and adapt to changing needs.  

  • The right REPORTING

Automated reporting that is tailored to your specific needs and meets all regulatory requirements relevant to your industry. 


By evaluating your data strategy, data quality, data governance, data management, data architecture, and data literacy, you can determine where your organisation currently stands and identify areas for improvement. 

Manageable steps, such as data collection and integration, data quality improvement, data governance implementation, and data-driven culture fostering can help your business advance in data maturity and achieve better outcomes.  


How to get started with improving data maturity? 


1. Starting point assessment

It’s important to have a shared understanding of where your organisation is starting from. This will help ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal and that your strategy is in line with your current position. 

To get started, evaluate your current approach to data management. Take a close look at your data collection, storage, analysis, and governance practices to identify areas of strength and weakness. This exercise will help you better understand where you stand and how you can improve your processes.

Take the Simpson Associates Data Maturity Quiz as a starting point assessment. 


2. Destination and objectives 

Identify where you want to be in terms of data maturity. This means setting clear measurable goals for how you want to improve your data practices and what success looks like. 

This may involve enhancing the quality of your data, implementing more effective analytics tools, or establishing stronger data governance frameworks. By defining these objectives, you can focus your efforts and ensure that your data management practices align with your overall business goals. Whatever your goals may be, it’s crucial to define them clearly and work towards achieving them systematically. 


3. Planning your route 

Develop a plan for how to get to the point you set as a destination. This involves identifying what changes need to be made to reach your goals and who is responsible for implementing those changes. 

  • Develop a comprehensive data strategy aligned with your organisation’s goals covering data collection, storage, integration, analysis, security, and compliance.
  • Evaluate your technology infrastructure and tools and invest in solutions for integration, analysing, and visualising data.
  • Establish policies and procedures for governing data, define roles and responsibilities for data management, and establish standards for data quality.
  • Encourage collaboration between departments to share insights and work on data-driven initiatives. Provide training in data analysis and relevant tools to ensure your team has necessary skills.
  • Foster a data-driven culture among your team and incorporate data into their decision-making processes.


It is important to be honest about your current level of data maturity and transparent about your goals to become more data driven. Often lack of trust in discussing this can be the biggest barrier in understanding your data maturity. 

Keep in mind that data maturity is a journey, not a destination. It’s important to regularly assess and adjust your strategies and practices based on changing business needs, technological advancements, and industry trends. 

Achieving greater data maturity requires dedication, resources, and a long-term perspective. However, the benefits of enhanced data utilisation can lead to significant improvements in business outcomes and competitiveness. 

Understanding your data maturity position can lead to more informed decision-making, better business outcomes, and improved overall performance.  

Take the time to evaluate your data capabilities and start maximising the potential of your data-driven strategies today. 


Take the Data Maturity Quiz


This quiz will take about 5 minutes and help you identify areas where your data needs improvement, providing best practices for managing and using data afterwards. 



Blog Author

Andrew Edge, Business Development Manager, Simpson Associates