All companies use data, but not all companies have a data-driven culture. 

Organizations that have a true focus on leveraging data incorporate data analysis, research, and interpretation into decision-making processes across teams and projects. 

Achieving this mindset throughout a company takes a lot more than just telling your employees to center their strategy around data. You’ll need to establish easy access to the numbers, ensure the quality of data, monitor data usage, and educate employees on how to use and analyze data. Placing data at the center of your organization is certainly an investment, so how can it pay off in the long run? 

Scale more quickly and efficiently

Data can provide a powerful impact by allowing you to identify trends and analyze behavior, pinpointing areas for growth and improvement.  

One way data can play an integral part in your company is by supporting productivity. You can extract data, like usage data and real-time analytics, from your systems to identify where you are dealing with bottlenecks and determine which processes need to be streamlined. Inefficient processes prohibit your organization from being able to ramp up quickly and scale. Once you have identified a pain point, you can use data to understand the root of the problem. Not only can you eliminate these hindrances, but you can also use this data to identify patterns and act proactively to  prevent future roadblocks 

Data can also help increase your revenue potential. McKinsey conducted a study and found that respondents from companies who are leaders in the use of data and analytics are “3X times more likely than others to say their data and analytics initiatives have contributed at least 20 percent to earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) over the past three years.” Data can be a key player in your revenue streams—usage data can help update your products to fit customer needs and tracking trends can help you predict and anticipate consumer demands. 

Improve the customer experience

The mindset of a data-driven culture is to utilize data to achieve a purpose or goal. If your north star is to improve the customer experience, strategically employing data can enable you to foster more impactful interactions with your customers. 

Personalization is a great method to increase customer engagement, revenue, and loyalty. Try pulling data from the customer journey to gain insight into the entire customer experience. This can allow you to tailor your interactions to fit the specific needs of a customer. 

By using real-time data, trend analysis, and predictive analytics, you can also vastly improve your decision-making process. A study conducted by PwC reveals that “highly data-driven organizations are 3X more likely to report significant improvement in decision-making.” Using customer data empowers your organization to make quicker and more informed decisions that revolve around your customers’ needs—the ability to ramp up your decision time along with utilizing customer data can support a seamless customer experience. 

That all sounds great. So how can I promote this type of culture in my company? 

A study by NewVantage Partners highlights that 92.2% of respondents identified company culture—people, process, and organization—as the biggest barrier to achieving this shift. What this means is that your organization needs an integrated strategy to promote this change. Here are a few action items to get you started:

  1. Secure executive sponsorship

Encourage your executive and team leaders vocalize their support of a data-driven culture. Actions speak louder than words, so also have leadership model behavior and advocate for making data an essential part of your organization. 

  1. Identify a quick win

Now that you’ve gained support from the leadership team, you need to drive momentum. Identify a project you can tackle with a data-driven mindset that will give you a quick win. Once your team sees the value your data-centric approach resulted in, it will be easier to gain support and adoption. 

  1. Increase data literacy

Data literacy refers to the ability to read, understand, create, utilize, and analyze data. In order to create a data-driven culture, you first need to empower the individuals in your organization to successfully leverage data. You can help increase your organization’s overall data literacy by providing training and certifications as well as by selecting tools that are friendly for business users. 

  1. Prioritize data governance 

Governance is essential for a data-driven organization. In order to have data easily accessible by any department, you will need to free up your data from any silos. Designate the responsibility of managing and cleaning the data, and look into implementing a data governance framework that establishes rules, roles and responsibilities, and processes for your data. 

Interested in the impact of a data-driven culture? Join Systematic and ask 1,700+ BT professionals about their experience!

Mary Hodges
About Mary Hodges

Mary previously worked in IT recruiting and is thrilled to bring her community building skills to the business systems community.