Data is king nowadays. Data means progress. Data has incredibly valuable potential. In this post, we’ll shed some light on how to create a data-driven culture in a company and show what impact it can have on the whole organization.
Today, the ability to understand data and identify opportunities equals long-term success. So it’s necessary for every CIO, CTO, or any IT leader to establish a data-driven culture in their company where employees will be empowered with skills and productivity tools that allow for data analysis. The outcomes and insights gleaned can help to optimize the decision-making process.
It is said that nearly 50% of companies have already invested in big data and more than 70% of those enterprises plan to invest again (according to a study by Gartner).
It becomes more and more obvious that companies should become data-driven to stay competitive and progressive. Big data is not an easy and clear set and getting meaningful information from it can be difficult at the beginning. Nevertheless, modern businesses have to make some steps towards data analysis and data-driven culture.
Opinion vs Data
Opinions and predictions are a part of our private and professional life. However, basing your decisions on them, especially in IT, might not be the best idea. It is data that should preexist before your opinion and decision-making processes. It helps to have convincing arguments when proposing solutions or making dramatic business changes.
Let’s analyze this example:
Your opinion is that devs spend too much time writing reports. You have to have data to prove it and sound convincing when proposing a solution.
Data would sound more like that: “junior developers spent 100 000 h writing reports in 2017”. Sounds more professional, doesn’t it?
Thanks to data, it’s possible to:
- define problematic issues (better),
- analyze them to find possible solutions,
- have a deeper insight into your business knowledge,
- solve problems faster.
Tips that will help you to build a data-driven culture
#1 Establish clear vision and goals
It is very important to have a vision before you introduce big data to the DNA of your company. A leader or executive (CTO, CIO) is always responsible for presenting such a vision to their colleagues and employees.
It is vital to give rational arguments for this change and shift in company’s culture and present the benefits, future plans and resolve doubts.
#2 Make data accessible
Data is a valuable asset when it is accurate, completely secure and has a trusted source. That description might be associated with governance, security and difficult access, as well. This issue has 2 sides.
The other side of accessing data is that it also requires openness. Let your teams access data and consider an approach where everybody can derive and contribute while at the same time everything is under control and secure.
#3 Integration is king
A good idea is to find an integration that will sync the data entered by your possible, potential lead e.g. from your contact form to your sales team calendar.
Also, you can connect your sales records from a sales automation software to your marketing software. By doing that, you can check the effectiveness of your ads or people’s sentiment to your brand, etc.
There’s a multitude of software that helps to capture user and client contact information. The number of different connections and integrations are really huge.
Integrations minimize the time your team spends on entering data, reduce errors and inaccurate information and many other mistakes.
By integrating different tools, you can capture information from the lead, send them immediately around other support teams and increase confidence that everyone has the newest and verified data and accurate info.
#4 Connect data to business goals
As a leader, CIO or CTO, you need to set data-based goals and learn to set valuable business KPIs. From conversion, sales, to the speed of development and lead retention, data has to be accessible and used in a way that supports internal processes and is satisfactory to the end user.
No matter if we think about sales, finance, coding, or project management – data should always be a part of tasks oriented on goals.
#5 Use data to make decisions
Having data and hesitating to make decisions is like burning your assets and resources. Collection of data would be pointless if you didn’t use it properly in the decision-making process. To create a data-centric culture in a company, chief executives should design processes that support decisions.
The right and wise way to make in business have to reflect the usage of data, analytics, conclusions, insights, and information provided by other teams from different sources and channels.
Make sure that your company is using the full potential of the data-driven approach. Data is no longer just a tool for showing reports or tracking the progress – it also facilitates task automation, work and sales coordination, business organization and making decisions in a successful organization.
This article is a part of Handbook:Leading a Software Development Team: Guidebook for CTOs and Team Leaders
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