How to Create a Data-Driven Culture

The make-or-break feature differentiating success stories from tales of woe in today’s marketplace is a data-driven culture. Creating a data-driven culture means to make data-based decisions in all areas of your business and stop relying on merely hunches or guesses.

The data influencing your decisions can range from basic revenue information to the most sophisticated analytics. A data-driven culture treats data as the main resource from which all paths of action spring forth. The idea is to create a culture in which all employees are empowered to consciously use data to make their workdays easier and more impactful, and to facilitate data-derived insight and initiate collaboration between all departments of the organization. Data access and governance are crucial to achieving this outcome.

Culture Can Expand Solutions Exponentially

A flourishing internal culture draws in and keeps more exceptional talent, makes your brand stand out from the competition, and engages the entire company in its mission. Data fuels better decisions, but how do you make data-based decisions automatic at your organization? It’s far more a mindset shift than it is a technology upgrade.

The heart of digital transformation is a data-driven culture. The entire purpose of data analytics is to enable your company to eliminate shot-in-the-dark guesses and make informed decisions frequently. An aligned data-driven culture can more quickly zero in on insights needed to strategize solutions for present-day challenges.

What separates great businesses from mediocre ones is that great ones have robust internal data-driven cultures. Everyone in the company is invested in using data to make decisions because they all have access to relevant datasets and are hyper-aware of mission progress.

Culture Can Exacerbate Problems

When employees fail to embrace a newly introduced data mindset, it’s usually because leadership hasn’t set the proper foundation. Internal resistance, unfortunately, can exacerbate the same problems a culture shift is designed to solve. Inconsistencies between departments, incomplete pictures, and communication gaps are all made worse when not everyone is on board with the solution.

How to Create a Data-Driven Culture

Leading by example builds data culture into your organization’s value system and is the foundation of how to create a data-driven culture. Top management that makes data-anchored decisions transparently shows everyone this is the company standard, not an exception; this is normal, not a one-off. Leaders can further the culture shift by determining exactly which KPIs will indicate success. KPIs and their associated datasets readily available to all go a long way towards building this shift.

Data accuracy and integrity is essential to fostering this mindset change. Making complete and accurate data accessible and promoting awareness of its use and benefits is key. Team members become empowered with easy access to both critical data for executing their duties and more discretional data that can lead to new insight. New insights lead to new innovations; entrusted, informed employees see better, more streamlined possibilities.

Employees Benefit from Creating a Data-Driven Culture

Data for the sake of data isn’t a powerful motivator for employees to change their workflow and routines. But when they discover that creating automated processes around data can make their own lives easier by helping them centralize information, avoid task repetition, and freeing up their time to focus on their favorite parts of their jobs, they’ll get enthusiastic about making changes and having a voice in the matter, which has a positive effect on retention. People entrusted with data leverage its power and develop processes to create new value from it.

Employees who work directly with customers have a different, valuable perspective than a CIO overseeing big-picture operations. Both—and everyone in between—benefit from keeping an eye on data trends. Analyzing trends helps identify the good, the bad, and the ugly about your business, providing essential evidence for decision-making. It can also help prevent future perils: Predictions based on past data get stronger and more accurate with consistent comparison and data quality.

What’s Your Data Strategy Roadmap?

You can’t improve what you don’t measure, and you can’t measure what you can’t order and evaluate. Simply having a massive amount of data does not indicate a data strategy. Integrated data, usable and accessible by all who can benefit from it, keeps everyone’s eyes on the main objectives and mission of the organization. This is a natural state of having created a data-driven culture.

Evaluate current processes as they stand regarding decision-making. Where are the shortfalls that prohibit insight gathering? Is there an unreasonable amount of effort involved in accessing resources to properly evaluate a situation? Do the right people have access to the right data, and are they empowered to make decisions—or does the flow get bottlenecked because a select few are deciding mundane things for a reason that made sense in the past, but no longer applies?

How do your people interact with data now? Are they able to put most of their efforts into what they excel at, into what you hired them for in the first place? Or are they mired in busywork that could easily be eliminated with the right tools? Employees empowered to make data-driven decisions make great things happen.

How might you build structures that simplify data access and delegate decision-making—in other words, that will help solidify efforts to create a data-driven culture?

Agility Matters

It is crucial in these pandemic times to respond quickly to changing circumstances and test ideas frequently to assess their potential. Successful businesses are agile because they watch market changes, meet ever-changing customer demands, and respond with speed rather than simply react to whatever curveballs enterprise throws at them.

Resultant is tech-agnostic. We leverage great partnerships to help find the distinct, extraordinary solution that will help our clients thrive. Tools built for the express purpose of facilitating agility can free multiple personnel resources so they may focus on bringing new insight and value to the company. Managed relational databases take inefficiency out of the equation. Large-scale data processing and warehousing adds speed to operations. Presenting a company’s data in its entirety in an easily viewable, actionable way furthers employee involvement in moving outcomes forward, which is key to creating a data-driven culture. Tools can even ask your data questions and teach it what you’re seeking from it—all leading to quicker, better, and more agile decision-making.

Change Happens

Human beings by nature avoid change. The unknown is risky, capricious, and possibly full of dragons. Data shines a light in that darkness to reveal that there is a path, and the dragons are far fewer than imagined. To truly be a data-driven organization, leadership needs to develop a company culture in which this mindset can thrive, leading by example, implementing new habits and strategies to make them automatic, and being explicit about what data-driven decisions look like and can do for the organization.

Culture will fuel the fire whichever way your wind blows. Choose wisely.