Creating a Data Driven Workplace Culture to deliver Digital Transformation

Data Driven Culture
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Digital transformation has been intertwined with data. Digital transformation begins with taking control of data and eliminating any obstacles to its use. A data-driven workplace culture would immensely benefit the delivery of digital transformation initiatives.

What is data-driven culture? It is simply when data is used at all levels of an organization to make decisions. Data-driven culture means replacing gut feelings to make decisions with facts or assumptions.

Simply because an organization possesses large amounts of data does not necessarily mean they are data-driven. To get the best value from data, it must be part of the decision-making process.

Below, we explore a data-driven organizational culture, how it can benefit digital transformation, and how organizations can implement a data-driven culture in your workplace.

What is a Data-Driven Workplace Culture?

Decisions are made in a data-driven culture based on data-derived facts. These can be simple financial figures like revenue or profit, advanced analytics results, or qualitative data.

Data is the primary source of insight in every department of an organization that forms part of a data-driven culture. Data-driven cultures have always been interested in numbers, but the level of data use is much higher.

Data can be used to empower your business to make better decisions, improve initiatives and increase the company’s competitive advantage.

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The purpose is to establish and promote a culture that encourages collaboration among all company employees. This will allow data to be used as the basis of all business decisions, from data owners to data scientists to business analysts to staff who use it.

To discover and develop data-driven apps, we must also look for patterns in the data and use analytics to test what works in our operational processes.

Access to data, management, and analysis of data quality are key factors in data-driven cultures.

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How does a Data-Driven Culture benefit Digital Transformation?

Many organizations fall for the common trap of thinking that digital transformation will improve productivity and workflows by introducing new applications and systems.

While true, it lacks critical strategic focus. Digital transformation programs typically involve migrating from offline, manual processes to online, digital ones. As a result, digital transformation projects are fundamentally data-oriented because they involve digitizing data, information, and content across an organization.

Every organization must decide how digital transformation can achieve desired business outcomes. However, many organizations overlook the impact of data transformation.

Two factors are key to a successful digital transformation:

  1. The impact the use and proliferation of data has on the digital plan
  2. How that data is managed will directly impact the success of the planned digital transformation

Ultimately, your data and digital strategies should be aligned.

Even if you don’t have a full-fledged strategy for your data, it is sensible to establish a set of data-driven principles to drive underpin your digital transformation.

RELATED: How to develop a Data Strategy Roadmap

Benefits of Data-Driven Decision-Making for Business

Data-driven decision-making offers many benefits for businesses, from improving operations to driving sales. Here are some further benefits that data-driven decision-making provides businesses.

Serve your Customers more Effectively

Data can be used by organizations to identify the preferences of consumers. Data can help companies in customer support centers find the most cost-effective ways to answer customer questions and address issues.

This will reduce the duration of resolving customer problems and improve customer experience.

Identify new Business Opportunities

Data can provide insight that businesses use to increase their revenue streams. For example, it can help them innovate and develop products and services that satisfy consumer needs.

A retailer selling women’s shoes might identify patterns that indicate a particular style or brand of shoe. They can quickly respond and adapt their products and services accordingly.

Increase Sales and Enhance Processes

Every company wants to increase its revenue. Data plays an essential role in identifying revenue opportunities and translating that data into sales opportunities in a global market.

A slow sales growth could be an indicator of poor sales team performance. Leaders can use data to identify issues and create sales and marketing strategies to improve performance and increase revenues.

Gain Competitive Advantage

Analytics and data can help companies respond faster to market changes.

Businesses can use data analytics to predict future trends, spot consumer behavior, and identify new business opportunities, thereby gaining a first-mover advantage in the market.

Creating a Data-Driven Workplace Culture: 4 Key Principles

Data has become an essential element for enterprises. So, what can you do to create a data-driven culture? Despite all the advertising claims, a data-driven culture cannot be bought or manufactured. It must be nurtured, developed, and maintained.

The following four principles are core to creating a data-centric environment where data is used to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

1. Change in Organizational Mindset

It is difficult to change the mindset of your team to embrace data. As you try to guide your team in a new direction, it will require patience and diligence. These areas are vital to changing your mindset.

  • Executive sponsorship If your leaders aren’t committed to using data, it will be difficult for them to encourage others to adopt the data-driven mindset. Leading with example is a powerful way to build a data-driven culture.
  • Quick wins One of the most effective change management strategies is to create quick wins. It is easier to convince your employees that data can bring tangible benefits. With each success, your data-driven momentum will increase.
  • Experimentation: Test & Learn: Data-driven businesses like Amazon don’t hesitate to try new ideas, make mistakes, and iterate. You can test everything and instill the discipline to rely on data to help you innovate faster.

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2. Strengthening existing Skills

Your employees need to have specific skills and knowledge to succeed with data. You can hire data-related skills, but your current talent has valuable domain knowledge and expertise. These areas are vital in enhancing your employees’ data skills:

  • Data literacy: The best library in the universe is useless to someone who cannot read. Your employees must receive basic training in understanding and reading the data they will be using regularly.
  • Data storytelling: People must communicate the critical insights they discover in data to others. To ensure that insights can be understood and considered, they must combine narrative and data effectively.
  • Data experts: There have been some instances where organizations have not had enough data specialists. They lack the data coaches to help their coworkers become data-savvy.

3. Refreshing your Toolset

Organizations can build up several data systems over time. This siloed environment can sometimes hinder than help the development of a data-driven culture. These areas will help you establish a strong technology foundation to support a data-driven culture.

  • A single version of the truth: No matter how many data systems you have, creating a common data language is crucial. A single view of operating metrics is essential for your organization.
  • Self-service model: You can make data more accessible to users through a self-service model. This allows your data scientists and analysts to concentrate on more strategic projects and will enable employees to use data more often.
  • Automation: Many labor-intensive tasks like data cleansing and reporting can now be automated. It is a good idea to put as much data burden on the machines as possible so that people can add more value.
  • Integration of analytics tools into existing systems and processes: Analytics tools can be even more powerful when integrated into existing systems or processes. For example, adding data-driven dashboards to demonstrate potential strategies can increase the productivity of your meetings.

4. Hardening your Data

The quality and relevance of data determine data value. These areas will help ensure that your data is reliable, trustworthy, and protected.

  • Strategy alignment: Many organizations fail in clearly defining and communicating their core priorities. Only data tied closely to your business performance will be of any value. Your business strategy should be closely tied to your analytics tools over time. Otherwise, the output (data) will diminish in value.
  • Data governance: If you view data as a valuable business asset, it is essential to ensure its integrity and quality. It’s crucial to balance accessibility with oversight so that compliance doesn’t precede people’s ability to create value from the data.
  • Data privacy and security: To reduce risk, ensure that data privacy is protected and that data is used securely. Data privacy and security should be taught to business users. Establishing a data-driven culture means everyone understands their role in protecting digital assets.

RELATED: Data Privacy vs. Data Security: Which Should You Prioritize?

10 Steps to Implementing Data-Driven Culture in your Workplace

We’ve covered the main benefits of a data-driven culture. Effective data leadership is the key to creating a data-driven culture.

Once the vision permeates through all levels of an organization, you must monitor how the culture manifests and influence it with the right tools.

Below, we look at 10 steps an organization can take to create a data-driven culture.

Developing Clear Vision

You must have a vision to integrate data into any organization’s DNA. It is pointless if you don’t extract knowledge, wisdom, or information from your data.

All the data on the internet is available, including customer insights and their conversion likelihood. However, every data attribute will be worthless unless it’s used correctly.

You will need to establish objectives and create a detailed roadmap for your data. This will help you determine how your data will impact your decision-making.

Data is a tool. You need to use it well to make better, more rational, and more informed decisions.

Identify who needs to access, and to what Data

A common issue is that people in different parts of an organization struggle to obtain even the most basic data. Anyone who deals with customers should have access to the data, or at least a portion of it, to fulfill their function.

Who has access to your data assets at the moment in your business? Can you have data analysts who can analyze it and make the best decisions? Do the sales and marketing teams use the data to guide their decisions?

Your marketing team needs access to data such as the conversion rate of prospects, email click frequency, average ROI, and the average cost per acquisition. Your sales team should also access sales data specific to a product or service.

Your data can be used by every department or domain of your company. It is a mistake to allow one domain to access your data and exclude other teams. You cannot expect your team members to work in close sync and stay on the same page by creating silos.

Introduce Performance Metrics

How can you accurately measure and estimate performance? What data can you use to assess success rates and inspect risks?

Every department within your company has its requirements. Let’s see how the metrics are broken down according to the needs of each department.

Marketing Metrics

Data-centric marketing is one of the most beneficial uses of data. It is important to remember:

  • Lead generation funnel: prospects who have a high potential for becoming customers
  • Viral Outreach: comments and likes, followers or shares of content
  • Return on Investment for Each Customer: The ratio of the revenue per customer and the amount it took to convert that customer.
  • Conversion rate: The percentage of prospects or visitors who convert to customers successfully
  • SEO metrics: Such as organic traffic, organic conversions, keyword rankings, backlinks, and domains, backlink quality

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Sales Metrics

While data-centric sales are closely driven and influenced by the data-oriented market, the metrics are entirely different. Your sales team should track the following metrics:

  • Achievement of KPIs: The percentage of salespeople who meet their KPIs consistently
  • SWOT analysis for sales funnels: This SWOT analysis covers strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Customer Success Metrics

Integrating data-driven decision-making into your existing processes is a great way to increase customer success. You will need to keep track of:

  • Daily number of reported conflicts and their resolutions
  • Each conflict takes time to resolve
  • Customer satisfaction rate

Management Metrics

Data-driven decision-making is essential for any management process. These metrics will help you improve your organization’s management practices.

  • Employee satisfaction: Are your employees happy with their work environment and leadership?
  • Value addition per employee
  • Project cost versus the estimated cost
  • Each project’s or campaign’s RoI

Streamline your Data Collection Processes

Who will supervise the collecting and processing of the various types of data or attributes? Each department is responsible for managing all relevant data.

Once the data has been provided to management, you’ll need to combine it into something more understandable, usable, and accessible.

Setting up a central repository for all collected data is a good idea. The company’s data analysts can look over the collected data and present clear and understandable insights to their supervisors.

The respective teams can then turn these insights into actionable steps, sharing the results at interdepartmental and intradepartmental levels.

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Identify the right tools to perform Data Analysis

Many open-source and paid Business Intelligence tools can help you get the most from your data, including Tableau and Power BI.

The right tools and interactive dashboards can transform your data into clear and quickly understood graphical reports. This makes data more accessible to even non-technical staff members.

Educate your Staff

You must train your employees with the necessary skills to make the most available data.

Data Science is a growing field. There are many courses available to train employees in this area. Make sure your employees are educated.

To channel their efforts effectively, every employee dealing with customers must have a better understanding of data and its uses.

Recruit Data Science Experts

Hiring Data Science professionals is a good idea if you have the budget. It is essential to hire qualified consultants to streamline your data collection process.

This will allow you to educate non-data-savvy employees and modify all aspects of your business. It will also help you build a sustainable, futuristic model that allows your business to run more efficiently.

Data analysts, for example, can help you select the most critical metrics for your company and department. They can assist you in developing data-driven decision-making methodologies. They will ensure that your decisions are based on logic and reasoning.

Maintain your Data

What’s the next step after you have the correct data? Only data can be helpful if it is current and up-to-date. Many dynamic data types or attributes exist, such as customer behavior and their responses to marketing campaigns.

Also, economic conditions, like inflation or purchasing parity, can impact the data. You could look at old data or a fake reality if you don’t include new data in your repository.

Keep collecting new, relevant data. Only updated data can provide you with valuable insights.

Acknowledge your Team

Data-driven strategies are challenging for many businesses, particularly small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Modern digital technology and the development of intelligent software tools make it possible to collect and analyze data much more accessible than ever before. Data-driven decision-making might offer a new way for employees to function.

It is possible to make your employees accountable for how they use data. This can bring about a significant change in the culture of your organization. You can also reward and laud employees who use data-driven decisions as part of your intrinsic motivation.

Promote Knowledge Sharing

Data scientists must approach data from multiple perspectives to get the most out of data. Ask your team how they dealt with a conflict and analyze it before deciding on a resolution. This will give your data team a better understanding of the data.

Final Thoughts

Managers can back up their hypotheses with data to give them the confidence to take risks and jump into new areas. It doesn’t suffice to aim to be data-driven.

Data-driven companies need to create a culture where this mindset is possible. Leaders can promote this shift by demonstrating new behaviors and setting expectations.

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