How to build a data-driven culture
The importance of data has been around for centuries, dating back to the times of astronomy and scientific research. Early on, we saw famous scientists and astronomers like Charles Darwin, Galileo Galilei, Marie Curie, and Nikola Tesla gather data to prove hypotheses and evaluate discoveries.
Fast forward to today and the value of data continues to increase with it being the single most important factor in unfurling the truth and discovering new frontiers. In a recent EY report, 81 percent of surveyed organizations say that data should be used to analyze each business decision. By using data in their analyses, organizations are more prepared to uncover opportunities or threats, and increase business performance and efficiency.
In fact, many corporations have embedded the importance of data into their core values. Amazon, for example, includes data as the backbone in many of its leadership principles. To achieve success, employees at Amazon are constantly measured against those principles and are pushed to “dive deep” into the data.
To build a data-driven culture, you must shift how your organization uses data to help meet the company’s business goals. Below are three things you should consider:
- Define company metrics – most successful organizations set business goals and define metrics to measure their progress and success. If a company’s goal is to improve sales revenues by 20 percent, then teams across the business should tap into its data and analyze how their department can contribute to the company’s revenue improvement. In addition to making teams accountable, these metrics also allow teams to objectively analyze how viable their business strategies are and to eliminate ambiguity.
- Democratize data – data has historically been in the hands of a few. If data is available beyond key stakeholders, employees are mobilized and empowered to conduct their own analysis by slicing and dicing the data. They can then contribute their findings to strengthen or invalidate their business strategies or ideas.
- Deliver consistent data – as organizations become larger, business processes become more complex. And analyzing the right, relevant data becomes more complicated when working with duplicative data from siloed sources and departments. By making data consistent across the organization, employees and departments have a common understanding of the data used in analyses, which leads to better cross-team collaboration
Building a data-driven culture is not easy, but with the right organization and technology in place, along with common goals across teams, you can provide the foundation needed to get you there.