Data-driven culture: from effective training to compelling leadership
With the advent of new technology, companies are relying more and more on data and information to guide their decision making and spearhead effective training.
But many companies are not actually realizing all the possible benefits of big data. With tons of new data collected every day, it can be challenging to utilize all of it effectively. But there’s no surprise that the most data savy companies in the industry today are the most successful. Key to the success of big data titans like Amazon and Google is a data-driven culture. Such a culture emphasizes the use of data in as many contexts as possible.
Using effectiveTraining to Create Culture of Data
Though a data driven culture clearly pays off, it takes some time to develop one. Below we list several tips to help your company cultivate a data-driven culture.
- Pick the right leaders. Company culture is often set by those on top. A board or executive that emphasizes the use of data in marketing and operations can set the tone for the entire organization.
- Train your staff. To truly achieve a culture of data, you need to ensure your staff is capable of handling the analytics. Retrain the relevant employees in data analytics skills and how to adapt an inquisitive mindset. Marketing departments should absolutely learn how to use the latest data analysis tools to continuously report and strategize. For some employees, basic analytic tools like Microsoft Excel are all that need to be trained. The proper training will depend on the employee and context. But this should involve more than just skills training. It also involves teaching about the data-mindset—how to think creatively to solve problems and discover hidden knowledge. It may seem intangible, but it can be taught and learned.
- A good way to teach analytical mindset is through case study analysis. Another strategy is by pairing less experienced employees with mentors. By working on real projects collaboratively, employees can develop the skills they need for meaningful data analysis.
- Implement quality controls. Data is only reliable if it is accurately entered. Data quality is a big issue for any organization. If quality control is not ensured, confidence in data analysis will suffer as employees and stakeholders will simply not trust the data. Part of a data driven culture is quality focus. Communicate clear guidelines and perform quality inspection regularly. This will help inspire confidence in analysis.
- Make data easy to access. A big obstacle to data driven culture can sometimes be the tools used to store data. Through the use of dashboards, however, data can be delivered in accessible way that helps teams quickly analyze their performance. Each team should be worked with to identify key metrics and this data should be accessible 24/7 to all members on that team. It’s important to emphasize that data is used to strategize and improve, not to point fingers in the event of low numbers. A data-driven culture results when employees are excited about data, not afraid of it.
- Set goals. Data works best when tied into key performance indicators and goals for these KPIs. We could write an entire separate article on the art of setting performance indicators, but it really is an important part of the process. Objectives should be associated with concrete statistics and a goal should be established. The team responsible for achieving this goal should have access to the indicator so they can judge their own performance. When employees are able to conceptualize and visualize their own contribution to the organization, it is easier for them assess the quality and impact of their work, and change course if appropriate.
New technology has made data a plentiful resource that many successful companies have adeptly taken advantage of. Your company can join these ranks of data savvy innovators as well, but getting there will require a bit of a culture change. It takes a bit of work, but with leadership, training programs, and accessible feedback mechanisms, you can develop a data-driven culture at your organization.