4 ways to foster a data-driven corporate culture

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TH Herbert is the CEO of Semarchya data software company that enables organizations to use their data to create business value.

Data remains one of the greatest assets to drive innovation. In the whirlwind of changing marketing strategies, hiring decisions and scaling, executives must prioritize collecting and intelligently using the metrics at their fingertips. This is especially true when it comes to creating a healthy and successful company culture – a space where employees feel confident that they can rely on data to inform their decisions.

However, business leaders need to understand that fostering a data-driven corporate culture for their organizations can be challenging. According to a 2019 study by NewVantage Partners92% of companies indicated that cultural, organizational and process challenges were the biggest obstacles to becoming a data-driven organization.

In my experience, such challenges are often caused by a combination of lack of knowledge, fear of losing control, intimidation due to the perceived size and complexity of the problem, and excessive “gatekeeping” between departments and data silos. Problems like these hurt team productivity, collaboration, and communication, ultimately hindering progress in making better use of a person’s data.

What’s important to remember is that having a data-driven mindset means looking beyond the numbers and challenges in all decision-making. Your company culture can thrive when you turn these insights into business assets and use them strategically for day-to-day operations. These changes will help your team collaborate better, accurately predict market changes, and increase ROI.

Here are four actionable ways to foster a data-driven corporate culture in 2023.

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Educate your team on data analytics.

Instead of relying on the skills of your company’s data scientists, you provide educational opportunities to every department of your organization. To truly develop a data-driven culture, the entire team must successfully share the standard skills of collecting, managing and enriching data.

Depending on your industry, push for initiatives to teach them about data governance, data quality, the importance of shared and “master” data, and other key concepts to gain real business insights from their data and analytics.

Whether it’s scheduling monthly seminars or enrolling your employees in an online course they can take on their own time, these learning opportunities can empower your teams to leverage resources in innovative ways. They can also drive data accountability at all levels of your organization, demonstrating your culture’s commitment to security and compliance with important policies. Just remember that this learning is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to get used to this mindset change.

Democratize decision-making.

One leader should not be allowed to make company-wide decisions – they should be democratized so that those on the front lines can have their say. After all, data scientists can have a stronger relationship with a company’s insights than its executives.

As a business leader, you need to remove your own biases from the equation and ask about your employees’ perspectives. When you receive input from your teams, ask them to back up their claims using analytics and reliable data sources. What data support their claims? Are these insights transparent for all departments? When you decentralize the decision-making process, you allow different perspectives into the mix. Data doesn’t lie, if it’s accurate, and this diversity of responses can point you in the right direction.

Build a leadership team to drive data initiatives.

A company’s managers are the ones who set the standard for changing their corporate culture. That’s why it’s essential to build a leadership team that prioritizes data initiatives. At our company, we are committed to leading by example and ensuring the quality of each strategy. We are smaller than other data governance organizations, but we are committed to maintaining governance and making data-driven decisions.

Align your leadership team’s core values ​​and business goals. It is also crucial to measure the involvement of each individual. According to a Fortune survey quoted by McKinsey, “only 10 percent [of CEOs] said their leadership development initiatives are having a clear business impact.” It’s time to turn the tide and choose enthusiastic and agile leaders to drive these initiatives forward.

Emphasize the benefits and value.

The benefits and value of fostering a data-driven corporate culture are limitless. Value should drive technology decisions, empowering companies to make better data a permanent fixture in their modern enterprise. Your team can make smarter decisions, increase productivity, improve customer experiences and respond confidently to challenges. Ultimately, becoming data-driven can empower organizations to pursue digital and data transformation initiatives. If you want to make your mark in the business sector, it’s important that your employees view data as one of their most valuable growth tools.

It’s a cultural decision to treat data as power — and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that long-term capabilities will benefit your employees, your customers, and your business.


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