Too often I hear the question “Can you help me with our Data Strategy?” Unfortunately, for most, this is the wrong request because it focuses on the least valuable component – the Data Strategy itself. A more useful request is this: “Can you help me apply data strategically?”Yes, at early maturity phases the process of developing strategic thinking about data is more important than the actual product! Trying to write a good (must less perfect) Data Strategy on the first attempt is generally not productive –particularly given the widespread acceptance of Mike Tyson’s truism: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” Refocus on learning how to iteratively improve the way data is strategically applied. This will permit data-based strategy components to keep up with agile, evolving organizational strategies. This approach can also contribute to three primary organizational data goals.