Data-Driven Cultures Do These Things:
- They embrace Big Data. They aren’t afraid of it. They relish the addition of new data sources and actively look for more.
- Managers use Evidence-Based Management techniques. Just about every choice comes based on data analysis.
- Challenges are addressed with Data. When something happens that was unexpected, the challenge is met with a data centric approach.
- The right data is being used. A lot of work goes into validating data and keeping it clean and fresh. The concept of having a data lake that supports multiple parts of the business is in place.
- The have the right analytics talent. Analysts are empowered to go out and discover not just current challenges, but look for potential ones as well.
- The know how to communicate. The sharing of information is done to benefit everyone. You won’t see lots of data trapped in silos. Data has no one true owner.
- They take action based on their data and analysis. You don’t see a lot of useless reports that kills a small forest or clog up an inbox with massive files. They keep it smart and simple.
Like most of the blog posts in this series, I took inspiration from Bernard Marr when I came up with this list, adding my own analytics spin.
Data-Driven cultures are a lot harder to find then they should be. In this day and age, every company should have a strategy on how to use data to drive more intelligent decisions, but they don’t .
Success eludes many companies because they don’t have the 7 qualities listed above in place. If you were to ask what they look like it would be something akin to this:
- Top management is afraid of data. Senior leaders don’t even know how to use MS Excel. There is no analytics champion in the organization to spearhead data projects.
- Decisions are made based on what worked in the past, relying on experience and gut feel. There is little evidence used to go in any certain direction.
- When things don’t work out, data and analysts take the blame. You will hear a lot of “why didn’t you tell me” and “I didn’t see it coming” excuses.
- What data is being used is old, dirty, incomplete, full of errors and doesn’t tell the whole story. Reports are basically useless and just produced to look at what people generally already know. They look for what’s there, oblivious to what’s not.
- They don’t not share data. They hoard it. They don’t trust anyone else with access to it. The data is stored in unconnected storage places. There is no common understanding how to use data.
- They fail a lot. Success generally happens by hard work as much as luck. It’s impossible to know for sure what caused what to happen.
It’s not easy to take a company that has little or no data-driven decision-making and turn it into an Intelligent Company, but it can be done. I have done it. I have guided transitions from the stone age to the information age. Let me show you how.
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