The explosion of big data is an exciting avenue for most organizations, promising better customer satisfaction, streamlined operations, and more precise strategies. This is why most businesses invest in technologies and analytical talent to help manage and process data more efficiently for maximum benefit.
A data-driven culture is one where the processes, strategies, and decisions of an organization are based on insights from analyzed data. This creates a higher level of accuracy, consistency, and reliability.
Despite the undeniable benefits of data-driven business culture, most organizations have not yet been able to make their data a constant, reliable base for making crucial organizational culture decisions. Although there may be some instances where data insights are used to create strategies and decisions, making this practice a part of the day-to-day culture presents a challenge to most managers.
1. Targeted Analysis
When dealing with big data, most managers ask for figures and numbers without knowing what they intend to do with them. Such data ends up being stored in the organization for ages without being converted into any essential insights. For a data-driven culture, data should be analyzed to answer a specific cultural question.
For instance, managers may want to know if customer satisfaction is higher first thing in the day or closer to closing time. In this case, the information they request will be targeted at the customers' responses at specific periods. With such data in hand, strategies to increase the overall customer satisfaction could be formulated.
2. Let Hierarchy Go
For a data-driven culture to be achieved, most members need to do away with their working styles – especially from the top. Managers used to make decisions based on their gut feelings should step back and let data guide them. This could create a scenario where a junior data analyst is better positioned than a senior manager to offer a specific solution. Managers and employees should learn to trust in insights from big data even if they take advice from subordinates.
3. Be Open to Innovation
Due to the rapid pace of technological advancement, an organization should never be comfortable with its existing practices. With the emergence of new forms of data and data analysis, your team should always be on the lookout for ways to manage data better. Constantly looking out for ways to improve the business culture will lead to innovations and insights that will benefit the business in the long-run.
4. Upskill Your Team
Being a good leader does not mean you must be a master of all trades. This is why hiring skilled personnel to manage and analyze big data is essential. Organizations that do not use qualified data analysts end up putting only a small fraction of their data to good use. The rest ends up as dark data, weighing down on the business's resources without providing any significant benefits. Due to the shortage of trained data scientists, preparing your own data scientist will ensure your data is managed by professionals who know what they are doing.
5. Consolidate Your Data
It can be difficult for managers to get the big picture from organizational data as it is generally scattered across multiple departments. Therefore, it is vital to bring all the business data together. With data consolidated in a single place accessible to analysts and managers, it will be easier for all departments to access when they need to formulate strategies or make critical decisions.
6. Communicate your Vision
Communication is key to any relationship, and the business setting is no exception. Making it clear to your employees that your organization is trying to accomplish a data-driven culture will make it easier for them to know what is required of them. When it is clear to them how their daily work will be affected and the benefits obtained from the change, they will be more supportive of your vision.
With big data comes the responsibility of management and compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR]. Employee and customer data should be handled in line with GDPR requirements to ensure their safety and prevent hefty penalties. Below are the main areas your HR department should address to ensure compliance:
Data Processes - Employers should revise their processes to ensure the minimization principle is adhered to – collecting data only for the necessary purposes.
Security - Security is vital when dealing with personal information. As such, measures should be taken to ensure employee and customer data does not fall into the wrong hands.
File Management - For GDPR compliance, file management should be updated, with employees required to sign and acknowledge the information held by the organization on their behalf. The files should be deleted as soon as they are no longer needed to ensure compliance.
Change is never easy, and it will definitely take time if you are introducing a new culture. With the tips above, you will have taken the first bold step to ensure data is the fuel that drives your organization. This will see you reap numerous benefits such as higher efficiency, accuracy, and overall business growth.