how-to-build-a-data-culture

How to build a data culture in your company?

Knowing how to build a data culture is the cornerstone of an effective data-oriented strategy. This means making sure that analytics are part of your everyday life and that they influence your company’s actions and decisions.

It is no secret that company culture can significantly accelerate and make innovative plans possible among all of its departments and initiatives. This essential element can be decisive in determining the success of an idea—no matter how good it is.

Data culture is changing the way businesses operate by helping them orient themselves towards effective strategies, promising trends, and correct decisions. It also provides the appropriate framework to learn from your results and improve upon them.

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In this post, you will find information about:

  • what is a data culture;
  • how to build one, with 5 tips.

What is a data culture?

For a drastic change to effectively happen, your entire company must absorb it. Its culture plays an integral part in this process, helping disseminate the new concept among all of its ranks and making sure everyone understands its value.

In essence, living a data culture in your business means requiring that all of your staff members work with information derived from data and analytics to make decisions. It also involves using it to plan strategies and to find opportunities for improvements and performances that are more efficient.

This requires several building blocks to be in place and functioning correctly. It refers to roles such as these:

  • data scientists, who are responsible for the analysis of the received raw data as well as the understanding of the information they bring;
  • contributors or participants, who are the people who positively influence the company culture in favor of data by making the correct changes in processes;
  • decision-makers, who make important decisions in the company based on the information brought upon by the data scientists and who have the role of disseminating the data culture in a top-down manner.

By helping your company follow a data-oriented stance, you are also able to avoid common pitfalls. For instance, hasty and unfocused implementation of data analytics without a culture change will restrict your success by making it harder to make the correct decisions and come up with appropriate results.

How to build a data culture?

Now that you know the importance of a data culture in your business, your next concern should be to learn how to do that effectively. The right course of action requires a company-wide adoption but it can be made easier through the implementation of the correct approach in your strategy.

Here are the best steps you can take on how to build a data culture in your company and how to perform them.

1. Investing in data literacy

The term data literacy means being able to read, analyze, and work with data. As you can see, it is an essential trait to have in a business with data culture but you also must continuously invest in it.

This soft skill is critical to make the correct decisions based on data. After all, raw information needs the appropriate understanding and context to provide answers. Someone who is data illiterate might damage a company’s future instead of helping it, for example.

Do not forget that this also means training talents within your company. You may already have people that are a few steps ahead in data literacy, only requiring proper orientation and an environment focused on constant improvement.

2. Choosing the right tools

Much of your success with data gathering and analytics depends on the use of the right tools to help with that job. Big Data became such an important trend for the current age, thanks to all the progress technology has made in the latest years that contributed to the development of excellent systems.

To positively contribute to a data culture in your business, you must first understand your specific needs in terms of information and then pick the best tools for that. This includes criteria such as type of solution needed, the data volume it can gather, accuracy levels, scalability, data visualization methods, and others.

Try to start small, with a minimum scale project to test the performance and efficiency of potential tools. Then, as it evolves, you will be able to grow your operation with the tool that withstands such a demand.

3. Establishing metrics that matter

Your data-oriented strategy needs the correct metrics to provide you with success. This means defining not only your goals but also the indicators that objectively track your progress towards it.

Today, we have an abundant potential of data available to us through several sources. However, your success will not come because of all this volume but instead from your ability to focus on the appropriate metrics that translate your effectiveness.

Look back and see what indicators you have usually employed to measure your strategies. Compare them with your current plans and fix any gaps you may find on your ability to create proper data storytelling.

4. Thinking about cybersecurity

Working with data and making decisions based on them also requires the proper cybersecurity infrastructure for your business. After all, it can be quite damaging to your company if your information is leaked, stolen, or tampered in any way.

This requires you to plan the appropriate processes to make sure your data is not fully accessible by everyone. You need to have very well defined roles within your data culture and the technology you use. Do not let a rush to innovate compromise your cybersecurity.

Also, while choosing the right tools for the job as recommended by the previous step, make sure to inquire about the security infrastructure of potential offers. Choose the one with not only the best protocols but also that is constantly developing and improving its security.

5. Including data in the decision-making process

Company culture only changes when it is effectively included in its everyday processes, from the highest levels to the lowest. Besides, do not forget that being able to make smarter and more strategic decisions is one of the biggest benefits of a data-oriented stance.

Consider the goals of your business and the plans you have in place. Use the processes you have to obtain data that is relevant to your choices and count on your team to provide the appropriate diagnosis based on them.

Another important part of this process happens after the decision-making: you must measure your success to repeat what went well and adjust what didn’t generate the expected results. After all, improving through data is essential to data culture.

Learning how to build a data culture is the first step toward a brighter future in your company. The only way to be truly data-oriented is to make sure your entire staff is working under this idea. If the concept ends up too detached from your day-to-day processes, it will effectively not function as expected. Follow the tips on this article and use the most strategic approach.

Keep reading more about how to use information to leverage your success. Check out our blog post on everything you need to know about data visualization.

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