How to Build a Data-Driven Culture 

Organizations with a data-driven culture are 23 times more likely to top their competitors when it comes to customer acquisition and 7 times more likely to retain customers. They also have higher profits, higher levels of innovation, and better prepared to adapt to changes in their industry. In short, data-driven cultures are ideally positioned to excel. Intuition-based decision-making can only take you so far. A data-driven culture founded on the core principles of transparency, data accessibility, and data-informed decision-making is ideally positioned to excel.

Today, more than ever, data is a critical strategic asset in the business landscape. By making the shift to a data-driven culture, many business owners find that they are ideally positioned to make the most of their place in their industries.

How to Build a Data-Driven Culture

Are you ready to make the transition to a data-driven culture in your workplace? Take a look at these critical steps. 

Leadership Commitment

Before you can launch your new data-driven initiative, you must have leadership commitment and buy-in. Start by making sure that your leadership team is on board. If you aren’t able to lead from the top, it’ll be much more difficult to get the buy-in you need across your organization. 

  • Provide statistics that showcase the importance of data-driven decision-making.
  • Choose the right metrics to focus on. Select metrics that are important to the company as a whole–and to the decision-makers in it. 
  • Evaluate the most important factors to your leadership and showcase how data can benefit them.

Convincing leadership to lead the data initiative is key to ensuring its adoption across your organization. When leadership champions the data-driven initiative, other team members are much more likely to stick to it. 

Data Governance

Once leadership is ready to support your data-driven culture, set clear data governance standards. This means:

  • Setting clear data quality standards. Today, there’s more data available to your business–and your decision-makers–than ever before. Carefully evaluate your data and determine what your organization considers quality so that you can filter out data that does not fit your needs. 
  • Maintaining ownership of your data. In some cases, you won’t want to share your information with your competitors. Make sure you have clear ownership and protection standards in place, including data protection systems. 
  • Establishing access protocols. While you want to protect your data from outside access, you also want to make sure that your team members can access that data when needed. Data analysts cannot come to clear conclusions when they cannot access the data they need. Make data accessible to the team members who need it, with access controls in place to prevent unauthorized access. 

Carefully governing and protecting your data–and setting clear standards and protocols in place–will ensure that you have high-quality data that you can access as needed. 

Employee Training

To make the most of your data-driven culture, employees need to know how to use that data effectively. They need to know how to assess it, how to include it in decision-making, and how to respond to changes in data as needed. Implement clear employee training protocols. 

  • Start with fundamental training: an overview that will provide all employees with the information they need about your data-driven culture and how to utilize data effectively. 
  • Offer training in analytical concepts. Focus training on the areas that are most beneficial to each employee’s specific role and the impact they can have on the company.
  • Provide additional training ahead of major launches or initiatives. As your company grows and changes, so should your data analysis efforts–and your employees need those skills. 

Keep up with employee training over time and revisit concepts as needed, especially when they are concepts that employees might not need on a regular basis. The more you revisit those training efforts, the more likely they are to stick.

Technology & Tools

Having the right technology and tools is essential to your data-driven efforts. Data analytics platforms like AchieveIt can help you sift through data, ensure its accuracy and usefulness, and apply that data to your decisions. Consider:

  • What features are most important to your brand? 
  • How can those tools help you grow your business and provide higher levels of customer satisfaction and support?
  • What tools will help you utilize data to improve things for your employees, not just your customers?

The right technology means access to the data and information you need at your fingertips.

Challenges & Solutions in Developing Your Data-Driven Culture

While a data-driven culture can prove highly beneficial to your company, there may be challenges along the way–and you need to be prepared to face them. 

Data Silos

When data is siloed and cannot be accessed across departments, it can be more difficult for team members to make the right decisions or to understand the reasoning behind them. Allowing more open access to data can improve adoption and ensure that everyone has the same information in front of them.

Resistance to Change

There will always be resistance to change within any organization. By providing employees with the right data and offering plenty of information about the process and its benefits, however, you’ll often find that the process goes much more smoothly.

Benefits & ROI

Implementing a data-driven culture can offer a number of essential benefits, including:

  • Cost reduction: Stop spending money in areas where you don’t need to and focus your budget on the areas that are most likely to be effective. 
  • Improved efficiency: Allow employees to focus their attention on the areas that really matter, instead of wasting time on things that won’t ultimately impact your customers or your bottom line. 
  • Better customer targeting: Get to know your target audience more clearly and develop materials that are designed specifically for their needs. 

Take a look at some of our past successes, including how a local government enhanced monthly reporting, ensuring transparency on accomplished initiatives for both citizens and leadership with AchieveIt and how a local government reduced the number of homeless animals with AchieveIt.

Take the Next Steps Toward a Data-Driven Culture

Are you ready to use data-driven strategies to fuel the success of your organization? AchieveIt is here to help. Schedule a demo to discuss data visualization solutions for your organization.

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Meet the Author  Chelsea Damon

Chelsea Damon is the Content Strategist at AchieveIt. When she's not publishing content about strategy execution, you'll likely find her outside or baking bread.

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