5 Tips for Creating a Data-Driven Culture
- By Jonathan Buckley
- June 11, 2015
The way businesses operate is rapidly changing every single day. Perhaps no example better illustrates this than the rapid growth and adoption of big data solutions. To say many companies are seeking to become more data-driven would be an understatement. Right now, organizations are working hard to utilize new business tools intended for the collection and analysis of big data in order to improve their respective companies.
But simply using data isn’t the goal; many businesses want to create a data-driven culture within their organizations. That means going beyond the numbers and focusing on their employees as well, and it’s clear this strategy can provide a big boost to companies. A report from the Aberdeen Group shows that data-driven organizations saw a year-over-year increase in revenue of 27 percent, whereas other business only saw a 7 percent increase. At the same time, 83 percent of data-driven companies improved process cycle times while only 39 percent of non-data-driven organizations saw similar results. Creating a data-driven culture has become a vital ingredient for success, so companies need to know how to do it effectively.
1. Hire Data Visionaries
It all starts with recruiting people who have the right skillsets that allow them to use big data in the most successful way. This often requires finding employees who have a “big picture” mindset — a vision of how a company can best use data to improve every aspect of the business. Data visionaries are able to deploy their own data solutions to solve problems, but at the same time they’re ready and willing to adapt should the available data show a better way to tackle challenges. Everything they do has a clear goal in mind, and they have the skills and talent to execute their plans with precision.
2. Organize Data
Collecting and storing is a necessary step to having a data-driven culture, but if that data is difficult to access, it won’t do people much good. A data-driven company needs to centralize and organize its data while constantly updating it so employees have the most accurate data at hand at any moment. Companies need to break down the silos of data, essentially democratizing it so it is available to everyone at all times. Careful considerations should of course be made for data of a very sensitive nature.
3. Empower Employees
In addition to giving workers access to data, organizations should also encourage a culture where employees feel free to offer up their own data-driven suggestions. This is the best way to receive unique insights and proposals. An entire company where employees aren’t afraid to shake up the status quo is truly a force destined for future success. If workers are free to give their own opinions that are backed up by data, even if it’s in contradiction to an executive’s thoughts on the matter, the best solutions will naturally rise to the top and be implemented throughout the organization.
4. Use the Right Data Tools
Big data won’t be of much help if employees can’t understand it. This problem can be solved by investing in the right data tools. Companies should pick the best tools that fit well with what their organizations are trying to do and what goals they would like to achieve. Good big data data tools and platforms help workers access, share, and analyze data. Some businesses may even choose tools that can be embedded directly with the business tools they currently use. Whatever makes the process easier will provide a significant boost to a data-driven culture.
5. Hold Employees Accountable
Having the right data-driven goals in mind is always an important strategy, but companies need to ensure progress can be measured and graded. The same holds true for employees. Only by holding workers accountable for their actions and progress can they be directed in the way they need to go. This shows companies value their employees’ contributions and care about their advancement. It also gives added incentive for workers to participate in the company’s culture.
Creating a data-driven culture is not always easy, but the benefits it provides are clear and noteworthy. The utilization of big data is transforming how organizations conduct business, so it should come as little surprise that it has a role to play in changing a company’s culture. With these tips, cultivating that new environment will become much easier, leading to more success for the company in the near future.