Most entrepreneurs believe that they can extract value out of their business data easily. However, the PwC report says something else. Only four percent of the companies under their survey were able to seize the advantage. And the rest of the organizations either lacked the required skills or capabilities to create a data-driven organizational culture.
While companies are collecting a lot of data across different processes in the form of reports and documents, they are often left untapped. This is where data-savvy companies like Amazon, Facebook & Google set themselves apart. How these businesses are turning insights into action and transforming their business is commendable. They have created an operating environment where their employees can seek data whenever and wherever possible. And, their opinions are based on data and numbers rather than the gut feeling.
LinkedIn, for example, is posting about 300 million events every day with the help of continuously-flowing data stream. Other companies like Uber and Cisco are also adopting the data-driven culture to provide quick and accurate service to their customers.
Another data-driven company is Purple Binder, which operates in the healthcare sector. It’s a reputed name in the healthcare industry, which is fulfilling the public need in terms of health and community. Its research team takes into account the local, state and federal data to generate relevant information for customers. By using the Purple Binder app, users can locate services like homeless shelter and food pantries.
Inspired enough by the zeal of these organizations with a data-driven culture? Here’s how you can build a decision-making culture at your own organization.
Start from the Top with Data-Driven Leadership
Is your company also adopting the HPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) approach to make critical decisions? Well, it’s quite obvious for team members to be dominated by their leaders’ opinions when they back those with phrases like “this is based on my X number of experience in the field” or “we used to do things like this in the Y company”.
However, if you wish to create a data-driven culture, you will have to get rid of the HPPO approach completely. While, your experience as a leader is valuable, you need to back it with data, and not the guesswork. Instead, focus on hypothesis making and perform A/B testing to gain insights and drive the right behaviour.
Build a Data Savvy Workforce
According to the McKinsey Global Institute reports, there will be a shortage of 190,000 data analysts by 2018. This will lead to a significant gap between the demand for workers who are great at data analysis and those who are not very tech savvy.
That makes hiring a data-savvy workforce critical now; else it’ll be too late.
Your HR needs to adopt the data-driven culture while screening every candidate for any role within the organization. For example, while hiring a marketing manager, check if his/ her resume talks about his analytical approach towards studying the market competition and creating buyer’s personas.
Eliminate the Knowledge Gap for Non-Technical Users
If you want your employees to rely on data in making decisions, give them free access to reports and dashboards as many times as they require. Not just the data analysist but even the non-technical employees of your organization need to be data literate. If possible, train every employee to understand and visualize data easily. Reduce the data gap and enable your employees to better decision making.
Let Data Drive Every Decision
Find out who owns the rights to view and react to the data. Is it only the analytics team? If yes, you are preventing other departments from getting big-picture insights. In this scenario, decision-making will happen in all other departments without reacting to the data.
The sign of a successful company is where every decision is backed by data and analytic reports. Whether large or small, every decision needs to be driven by data to create highly centralized data-centric approaches and informational architecture.
Make Data Analytics A Strategic Priority
Businesses often start taking analytics initiatives, even without realizing how it will impact their existing processes. This shows the lack of clarity at the top management level, resulting in disinterested employees. Obviously, if your friend packs his traveling bags even without deciding where to go, you won’t feel like accompanying him.
You need to make data analytics a strategic priority and start investing in right technologies like business intelligence software. Further, make the usage of BI software a norm for every employee across all silos. This way, employees will start taking every decision backed by data and be a part of the data-driven culture automatically.
Manage Your Existing Data
You need to track and gather every data you have in the office till now and put it to your advantage. In the huge pool of data, you need to consider the useful information that needs to be analysed further to succeed at your goals. Take for instance, sales figures over the last few quarters and customer survey forms, these are vital to your organizational interests.
You need to standardize all records to ensure that you can understand the stored info in a better way and pick only those which help you unleash the potential value of your big data. Business managers often don’t have a comprehensive understanding of data. However, analytic experts can help them understand the data and align it with the broader objectives.
Always Remember, Data Isn’t Everything
While you adopt all these practices to make a data-driven culture, remember that your ultimate goal is to achieve higher productivity in alliance with your talented employees. Don’t go so deep into data analysis and reporting that you forget about valuing talent. All your analysis and reporting initiatives should serve one central purpose – Helping you catch the next big wave in your industry.