If you’re looking to create a data-driven company culture but don’t want to hire a whole new team, then these five tips will put you on the right track
One of the largest changes to the world of business over the last few years has been the complete surge of data across the globe. With every business now producing more data than ever before, it’s no wonder that companies are trying to use that same data to their benefit. Considering that data-driven companies are 23 times more likely to acquire new customers, the benefits of data are far too significant to overlook.
If you’re trying to create a data-driven culture without employing a data team, this is the article for you. We’ll move through five core steps that you should take, helping you to get your employees on board with the data culture mindset. We’ll cover:
- Starting with Management
- Removing Data Silos
- Offering Training
- Showing the Benefits
Although creating a data driven culture is important for modern business, it’s not the most natural transition for many, which is why we’ll walk you through these best practices. Without further hesitation, let’s see exactly how to create a data-driven company culture from scratch.
Explain Why First
The first step towards creating a data-driven culture is to ensure that everyone in the business knows exactly why you’re making this change. No matter the size of your company, whether you’re a startup of just a couple of people or a major corporation with 500+ people, you need to effectively outline the reasoning behind your decision to move to a data-driven working culture.
One of the most effective ways of doing this is through a two-step strategy, one written and one focusing on meetings. The written part of introducing a data-driven culture should be sending out a detailed explanation from upper management to all employees.
Within this correspondence, you should outline why you’re making the change, what benefits everyone is set to get from this change, and details on how to access this new data infrastructure that you’re initiating.
After sending out this written correspondence, you should then organize meetings where each team leader can distribute more information about becoming data-driven. If your company leaders host the same meeting for all managers, you can then effectively trickle down all of the important information to everyone.
If your employees understand why you’re making these changes and how they’re set to benefit, they’ll be much more likely to get on board with your new company vision.
Start With Management
Simply due to the hierarchical structures that modern businesses rely on, any major change is going to be a top-down adjustment. While there are cases of bottom-up approaches, these mainly relate to employee-focused changes to the business. If you’re looking to create a data-driven culture, then you need to start at the very top and lead by example, creating standards and being sure that upper management is carrying them out.
Once you’ve outlined the practices that you want to include in this new data-driven culture, you should make sure that all of your senior management teams are strictly following the policies that you’ve outlined. By ensuring that management is becoming more data-conscious, you’ll be able to lead by example. What’s more, managers of distinct teams will then be able to start backing up all of their choices and decisions by data.
As employees see that only ideas that are backed by data move forward in the operations process, they’ll quickly realize that data is here to stay in your business. With this, you’re able to ensure data is at the heart of every element of decision-making within your company, keeping everyone – from upper management to entry-level employees – on the right page.
Remove Data Silos
Data silos are the number one enemy of free-flowing data. A data silo is a metaphor for any data that becomes trapped in one specific vertical area. For example, the sales team could generate a vast quantity of data about customers, their buying habits, and sales figures.
This information could be incredibly useful for a range of different departments, from marketing to product design. However, if that data doesn’t ever leave the sales team’s storage facilities, then it is essentially rendered useless and becomes siloed.
Removing data silos and ensuring that absolutely everyone has equal access to the data that your business produces is one of the most important elements to focus on when constructing a data-driven culture. Part of removing these silos is ensuring that people know exactly where to store the data they create, putting it in a position where everyone has access to it.
Typically, businesses will hire cloud storage space to do this. Either by using a cloud data warehouse or delta lake, companies are able to provide one central location where all forms of data that is collected can be deposited. Not only does this simplify the data collection process, as all of the data produced will be sent to one location, but it also means that everyone is able to find any data that they need, whenever they need it.
As cloud services are online, this centralized data repository will help your teams encounter any datasets they need, pulling sources and analysis results from many different departments. By investing in this central data infrastructure, you’re able to ensure that everyone can share their data freely, contributing to an effective data culture in your business.
Offer Training to Those That Need it
Creating a business that relies completely on data as a normal part of work is going to be a harder transition for some rather than others. While data and technology are a natural part of the daily lives of many people, others are much less familiar with using data in their workspace.
To level the field for everyone, you should offer training classes and modules to those that want them. One way to avoid embarrassment for any individuals that want help but are worried about seeking it is to make these modules mandatory for all employees. By running a day training session for different departments, teaching them how to manage data tools, run analysis, and basic tech management skills, you’ll be able to bring everyone up to speed.
By giving everyone training in the tools they need to access and analyze data, you’re able to make data-driven decisions much more natural. Instead of hiring a data team, this helps give everyone a basic grounding in data analysis, providing everyone the skills they need to manage in your data culture.
Show How Data Helps Employees, Not Just Customers
While 28% of companies say that improving customer experience is their top goal when incorporating data into their everyday structures, there are actually many more additional benefits that your own employees can receive. By demonstrating that turning to data can actually help employees in their jobs, rather than just employees, you’ll make everyone much more open to accepting any changes that come with this transition.
From saving time through deploying tech tools to demonstrating which choices or designs out of several options are statistically the best, data can help employees in a range of ways. By sketching out exactly how your business can become streamlined, with a focus on the actual work-relief that tech can provide to your teams, you’ll be able to put your best foot forward when adapting your company to a data culture mindset.
Creating a data culture for your business starts with knowledge, leading by example, and ongoing support. Attempting to create any form of large transition within your business will likely be met with an element of resistance at the beginning. However, by helping your teams to learn, removing data silos, and ensuring that your company leaders demonstrate how effective data cultures can be, you’ll be on the right path towards making the change.
Remember that transition takes time, and your employees will likely need a great deal of help along the way. From providing training modules to simply setting time apart in your calendar to check on the progress of certain team members with 1-1 meetings, it’s worth going the extra mile. All the benefits of creating a data culture await you!