The pandemic has shown how critical it is to adapt to rapidly changing conditions and dynamic markets. “Visualizing data in such a way that companies can quickly understand developments and act based on current information is a superpower that no company can do without today,” says Mark Nelson, the self-service analytics company. A platform that was founded in 2003 and has been part of Salesforce since 2019. But pure technology is not enough. Every company today also needs a robust data culture.
See, Measure, Understand
Increasing access to large amounts of data opens up enormous opportunities for companies, leads to new, fact-based innovations, and enables faster, more informed decision-making. However, the real value of data can only be realized if it is understood. There are new tools for this: On the way to the digital world, we have to see, measure, and know what we are doing. Data will play an increasingly important role in all areas of human activity: whether in medicine, sports, or law – no matter where – data will bring about real change in the coming years.
Companies have already laid the foundations: over the years, they have started to collect more and more data about their customers, the market, and their business processes. But that’s not all – data only has its effect when it is brought together and analyzed using a suitable platform. Associated with this, data culture is required that defines the value of data and how it is handled.
The Sense Of Holistic Data Use
A company’s data journey usually begins with the desire to increase productivity or efficiency in a company area or determine the cause of a problem area. An evaluation phase follows this to make recommendations for the next steps. For example, a construction company wants to improve materials purchasing, while a service company needs to focus on customer satisfaction. Regardless of the nature of the problem, often, when the issue is resolved, or the change is in effect, the data journey ends.
Data Culture As A Business Model
Those companies that evaluate data comprehensively will drive innovations and bring about change. The gap between companies that lead the way in data and analytics and those that lag is widening. Companies like Spotify, Klarna, Hexagon, and Tobii use their data with great success and are excellent examples of companies that have translated data into a business model. But far too many companies overestimate their ability to use data as a strategic tool. Often it is due to the history in which data did not play a role. However, as data analysis is now becoming a cornerstone of modern companies, it is becoming more and more critical for the success of a company to build a healthy and well-functioning data culture that changes the way we look at and deal with data.
How A Data Culture Thrives
A dynamic data culture cannot simply be introduced into a company, nor can it be enforced. A robust data culture changes the way people think; therefore, it must be cultivated and developed and must not be limited to specialists and departments with an affinity for data. Instead, it should be integrated into the heart of a company and be the responsibility of all employees at all levels and with all qualifications. The benefits include increasing employee motivation and understanding the purpose of data so that data insights can power the business.
German companies are currently running the risk of falling behind in terms of innovation dynamics. The key to strengthening a company lies in realizing that it is strategically relevant to develop a long-term and sustainable data culture that encompasses the entire company. While this cannot be done overnight, five common denominators are critical to a company’s successful ability to analyze and use data.
Data Culture Is A Decision-Making Culture
Do not think of data analysis as an experiment or an exercise in collecting large amounts of data. The primary purpose of gathering, analyzing, and applying the knowledge is to make better decisions.
It Starts At The Top
It is not enough for the CEO and board of directors to endorse building a healthy data culture. Business leaders must also advocate investing and implementing a strong data culture in corporate strategy, prioritizing ongoing discussions between managers and those who lead data initiatives in the company.
The Democratization Of Data
Many employees in modern companies value data and are enthusiastic about its potential. However, to encourage these conditions and provide a bottom-up approach, organizations must also make data easily accessible.
A Certain Amount Of Risk Pays Off In The Long Run
Organizations with an influential data culture are aware of the risks associated with specific data-driven initiatives. At the same time, however, it is essential to establish clear guidelines for business-critical and, therefore, not to be risked. In this way, a culture is created in which the intelligent use of data is promoted and handled responsibly at the same time.
Key People As Catalysts
To create a lasting data culture, there must be visible leaders and ambassadors for change. Both those involved in data analytics and bystanders need to recognize the value of data initiatives. It is therefore of crucial importance that there are critical people in a company who can attract all employees to the data culture.
As more and more companies realize substantial untapped potential in data analytics, the desire to improve their skills will increase. However, given the new risks, it is easy to relapse into old habits. Success comes when a data-driven mentality is paramount in the company. Managers who set a good example themselves and acquire new habits can better arouse an understanding of data-driven decisions in the team. Nothing helps: you have to tackle it!