How to get started with buy-in for investment in data

What is ‘buy-in’, and how to go about getting managerial and investor support when it comes to funding for your data strategy?  


One Big Message 

Trying to get investors to buy-in to your data strategy or product can be a daunting task. By generating proof of concept, creating a clear strategy and aligning your project to the business objectives you will be able to demonstrate proof to stakeholders even if they are from a non-data background 


Be clear with your outcomes 

When it comes to sourcing funding for your data project, you have to be very specific about the outcomes your data project will achieve and the value it brings to the company. It simply isn’t good enough to have a ‘ballpark figure.’ Investors want to know where their money is going and what their return on investment will be. Getting specific with outcomes allows decision-makers to mitigate risk when offering you buy-in.  


Your personal experience with individual stakeholders 

Another measure of determining how well your buy-in pitch will be received is to review the individual stakeholder’s personal experience with data. Depending on their existing knowledge you may need to include more information to help the stakeholders understand how data can help the business. You can come up with similar examples, be more comprehensive with your modelling, or create very obvious links between your strategy and how it will directly improve business outcomes. This is particularly important when you are trying to pitch a data strategy to a decision maker who may not have much data knowledge.  


How to create an effective buy-in pitch 

There are many different ways to make a buy-in pitch more effective, but one measure of how well it will be received is by looking at the strategy. The clearer the plan and the more relatable it is to the business goals, the easier it is to formulate costs and predict how effective your strategy will be.  

Having clarity with your plan will allow you to demonstrate how your data strategy aligns with the business objectives and budgeting.  


Create buzz around your pitch 

The more publicity you have of your strategy or proposed product, the more likely you will be able to attract interest in your idea.  

When trying to create buzz around your plan, follow the marketing rule of 7: people usually need at least 7 touchpoints with your idea before they come on board. Avail any opportunity to get the word out there – use trade shows, office meetings, conferences, anything that can bring more visibility and credibility to what you do.  


To summarise 

Getting buy-in for your strategy or data product is about communicating your strategy’s value to stakeholders. With the correct planning and preparation you should be able to effectively remove any doubts the stakeholders may have so they can invest with confidence.  


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