The key to effective data analysis and subsequent data-driven decision-making lies in maintaining a company-wide culture that values data-driven objectives. Mindful of the increasing amount of data made readily available to businesses – data with potential to be transformed into valuable decision-making and action – business analysts are quickly becoming key players within companies seeking to utilize the power of their data and, in turn, maximize its value. Companies hire business analysts to translate data into forecasts that inform strategies for progress within the company at large as well as its individual departments, though the development of assistive data analysis software can help equip all employees with the ability to make actionable decisions based on data and function, in part, as business analysts themselves. With this in mind, it is imperative that designated business analysts are provided with the support necessary to create value through the development, provision and implementation of actionable insights. In order to ensure the ability of business analysts to transform data into business value, relationships between analysts and business insiders must foster conversations that promote a broader understanding of impact. The development of a business culture that values transparency and data-driven decision-making can help ensure the ongoing realization of new sources of business value.
Here are three ways to create and structure an organizational culture that values data-driven decisions and promotes the collection and analysis of data across multiple departments:
Assign management as arbiters of analytic decision-making
Those in business management positions hold the power of leadership necessary to drive culture change in response to insights and suggestions of business analysts. Company leadership needs to drive the shift towards a culture that upholds the value of data in the decision-making process. As executive teams come to realize data analysis as a valuable component of ongoing strategy, chiefly as a method of maintaining a competitive market position, those in company leadership roles have started to embrace the opportunities presented by increasingly easy-to-use data analysis tools. In many ways, the integration of data analytic tools like those offered by through the AchieveIt feature set provide management with an opportunity to lead by example and inspire a widespread shift in the way a business culture values data and analysis. When change comes from the top and business leaders integrate new practices they wish to see utilized throughout the ranks of their company, employees will follow suit – especially when those in managerial positions can utilize data to evaluate employee productivity.
Embed analysts within each business unit that focuses on the unit’s data
Business analysts function as sources of widespread internal company assistance by providing designated teams with ongoing access to insight for improved decision-making. Such partnerships produce tremendous collaboration that equates to a sum much greater than its individual parts. Embedded analysts who participate in meetings and learn the inner-workings of a company through first-hand involvement continually provide insight leading to better-informed decision-making and improved results on the part of business teams. Through ongoing day-to-day involvement, analysts will have the opportunity to witness the evolution of their target business’s big picture story. The operational details and nuance revealed during embedded involvement give weight to an analyst’s claims and suggestions, improving their ability to inspire change and action. Different organizational structures reinforce different relationships between business teams and data analysts. Organizational structures that support and enable collaboration between business teams and embedded analysts will maximize the value of company data and the insight of the analyst.
Make data transparent to all stakeholders through visualization
Gone are the days of data sharing solely on a “need-to-know” basis. Technological advancements have led companies into an age of incredible data acquisition, meaning that businesses often possess more information than they can easily act upon, at least not when that information is only shared among a select few. Businesses that utilize data productively within a timely manner are those upholding a culture of transparency, sharing data with all stakeholders in part through the utilization of visualization techniques. In the spirit of data democratization, which empowers workers and stakeholders through widespread sharing of information, easily interpreted visualizations provide a powerful medium through which information obtained by means of data collection and analysis can be shared with a larger audience of business decision-makers. As raw data can be difficult to communicate to an audience with varying levels of pre-exposure, visualizations provide context that’s easier for stakeholders to digest. The AchieveIt custom dashboard feature provides users with the ability to customize visual representations of data needed to evaluate performance on an ongoing basis and easily take action based on that data. Business cultures that utilize such data visualization tools are better suited to make data-driven decisions a valued component of ongoing strategy.
Have additions to this list that have made your company culture more data-centric? Let us know in the comments section below!