Creating a data driven culture can benefit any organization, even one that has already implemented an automated analytics solution. Companies that have well developed data driven cultures find that their employees have a better overall understanding of data’s value, allowing them to become active participants in both data measurement and analysis. This means employees are better able to support their ideas with solid evidential data, as well as to provide more realistic predictive outcomes. In this article, we will offer seven helpful tips on how to create a data-driven and data-informed company culture.
Even the most advanced analytics program will not do you much good if you do not know exactly what kind of metrics your organization needs to track, measure, and monitor. Identifying your metrics right off the bat means you are able to effectively decide both what data needs to be collected as well as how best to collect it.
As with many business operations, clear and direct communication is crucial when it comes to creating a data driven culture. This can be most easily and immediately achieved via a companywide internal email, containing a message to all employees that explains this. For example, the message might just contain a simple message such as, “Effective immediately, in order for any employee-presented ideas/decisions to be considered by management, said employees must be able provide valid data that supports their ideas.” Even better, if you have a centrally governed data source for core business data, you can require that to be the data source. The best would be to pull up the data analytics application live and show what’s happening and why you’ve arrived at a conclusion.
Once you have identified your desired metrics, you will need to acquire and implement the proper technology and infrastructure for the gathering and organization of your data. The simplest and most effective course of action would be to use a governed analytics solution that makes it possible for your employees’ to both access and track data, as well as to visualize trends and present actionable intelligence.
Data can be a tricky thing. While you will want to make sure that all employees have access to the data they need in order to do their jobs effectively, you certainly do not want all of your employees to have access to all of your company’s data. Therefore, it is important to implement proper data controls and policies that allow for a trackable digital trail for what data is (and can be) accessed by who. Such controls reduce risks for internal breaches by setting concrete security levels for data access and establishing which individuals are to be granted them.
In the years since the arrival of Big Data, a number of new executive and management level positions have had to be created. For example, business leadership roles such as Chief Data Scientist, Chief Analytics Officer, and Chief Data Officer are now commonplace among large corporate firms. To facilitate a data driven culture, you might consider creating a new leadership position for it. Simply creating such a position, of course, won’t just automatically lead to a data driven culture. It will, however, allow for an organizational structure and chain of command that will foster its development.
This one is often forgotten or ignored. It is, however, very important… because businesses often have to sell investments in new technology (such as analytics) to stakeholders or a board. By creating a data driven culture in which everyone recognizes that data is connected to the organization's revenue, you will be better prepared to make such arguments as well as demonstrate the financial returns that can be expected on any investments (ROI) made in data analytics. Or as we like to call it, your Return on Data.
Rewarding success is always a sound idea in any organization. Many companies give such rewards (whether monetary or just symbolic) for the successes of staff members, often in departments such as sales or customer support. The idea here is to make the use of data/analytics a rewardable action. An organization with a data driven culture should spotlight and reward employees for using analytics to take beneficial actions, make intelligent decisions, and/or improve ROI.
By using the above tips to create a data driven culture in your organization, especially if combined with a robust automated analytics solution, you will be leading your entire staff in making evidence based, well-guided, actionable decisions while enjoying more favorable outcomes.
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