Do you have a data-driven culture? 7 things to consider

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Today, our business disruptions are higher than ever. Organizations are facing a constant battle for continued success and survival. One of the biggest battles is knowing how far your company is willing to go to get those data insights. 

We can no longer accept mediocrity in today’s business world, we cannot wait for the data to find us. We need to accept the intuitive data, the non-intuitive data and embrace it as a learning experience.

To ensure you are building a data-driven culture there are seven things you must consider:

1. Companies that are data-driven have clearly defined processes that support key metrics. Once these are in place, companies work hard to communicate them to staff and make sure they understand them and how their work contributions fit into it. 

2. Data-driven cultures work hard to make sure there is only one single version of the truth. This enables users and keeps them up to date in a timely manner, ensures data is fresh, relevant and centralized. Too often we see clients that are working a siloed environment where data is not cross-functional resulting in the value of the data being decreased.

3. To mitigate risk to the company, there is governed data access. Companies must define what these policies are and once again, communicate to the staff.

4. Consistently measure and communicate progress when it comes to metrics. There is nothing worse than knowing there are metrics but not knowing if your company/team is actually working towards them. 

5. I can’t stress this point enough. It is so crucial to have the right resources at all times. Don’t hire people specifically based upon their skills. It’s important but it should not be the deciding factor. Because technology is changing so rapidly you need to hire according to their ability and willingness to learn. Let’s face it, the skills you hire for today may not be the skills you need 6 months from now, so you need people who are agile and able to adapt to new technology, new models and be good at problem solving. 

6. Naturally it makes sense for me to say invest in training following #5. Because technology changes so quickly and teams face challenges often it is important to invest in training to keep people feeling enabled, engaged and enthused. We can’t expect people to figure it out themselves so we must equip them with the proper tools to contribute to the data-driven culture we strive for.

7. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate! We know different departments tend to speak very different languages. So it is essential to get your IT department and the rest of the business in the same playing field. Often there is such a high level of disconnect because IT goals are different than management goals and IT may have the technical background but may lack the strategic analysis background. It’s time to get everyone thinking with the right mindset.

Companies will always be learning in the world of analytics so don’t get discouraged. We do know one thing for sure, and that is that collecting and analyzing data is no longer optional.