Yes, it’s another sports analogy blog.

Data defence may not always be as exciting as data offence but it is just as important when it comes to winning.

Everyone wants to be Lionel Messi

Michael Jordan, Pelé and Mia Hamm. History has shown us that we remember and talk about these types of players more often than those in defensive roles (putting athletes like Dennis Rodman or Cafu aside of course!). It is the same with data.

Just like most sports there are two sides to data; defence & offence (or Defense and Offense for our American readers). When data defence and data offence are discussed in business it is highly likely that the chat will quickly turn towards offence. This often happens because a strong data offence strategy gives a business an exciting platform for growth. And this is what drives most business leaders.

Either side could win it, or it could be a draw!

But if the focus of business investment is offence, spending less on governance and security increases risk. This means that a business could start to lose just as quickly as the offensive strategy sets it up to win. As Sir Alex Ferguson once said ‘Attacking wins games, but defending wins championships’. What Sir Alex means is that good defence ensures that you’re not losing ground and this in turn allows your offensive strategy to be much more effective.

Its squeaky-bum time.

The words from Sir Alex are probably more relevant today then they have ever been. The current crisis has seen much of the economy go into a deep freeze as businesses try and figure out their next move, while simultaneously looking at ways to preserve cash. As governments around the world look to kick start their economies back to life it will be interesting to see which strategy businesses will take.

Will we see them setting themselves up like a Jose Mourinho Spurs side? Will they go into a 99% defensive, hunker-down mode and then with the remaining 1% try and pick off any chances that come their way? Or will they setup themselves up like Thomas Tuchel’s Paris Saint-Germain to attack and drive new ways of operating, so they don’t just survive the pandemic but accelerate out of it?

Sometimes in football you have to score goals.

So how does this relate to data? Well a strong data defence strategy will ease the effort needed to deliver your data offence strategy. If data is well controlled, defined & protected then it becomes much easier to reuse this critical resource for offence. So, while data defence may not be as exciting as offence, it is just as important.

The question then is a simple one. Do you setup yourselves up with a play not to lose strategy? Or do you play to win? Just like with football teams the answer will be different for every business. Whatever you decide, ensure your defence is watertight because without this your growth will always be fragile.

If you want help ensuring your data defence is watertight why not check out Predatar Insights and get the inside track on your data performance here.