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How to create a data driven culture in your organisation

Bhupendra Sharma
3rd Oct 2016
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From conceptualising an idea to transforming it into a full-fledged business, intuition helps entrepreneurs at every stage of their career. But once the business is born, you can't rely on intuition forever. You need to take the help of data to set targets and deliverables and to analyse your growth and prepare strategies to stay in line with the competition.

“Without proper data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” – W. Edwards Deming, American engineer, statistician, author and management consultant

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, of Sherlock Holmes fame, once said, “I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly, one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

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While writing Sherlock Holmes, Doyle couldn't form any of the theories until he had enough data to back them. “Data! Data! Data! I can’t make bricks without clay,” he once quipped.

Data has been invaluable in every successful decision ever made. As a leader, it's your responsibility to create data driven teams so that you can assess how effectively your company has achieved its business objectives so far, and what it will take to end the next quarter on a positive note.

Firms that employ a data-driven culture enjoy a host of benefits, such as quick decision making, better employee understanding and perfect time and resource management. In order to join their likes, focus on creating a data-driven team on your own. Here's how you can do that.

It all starts with recruitment

If you are willing to make a data-driven team, you'll have to start from scratch. Hire individuals with a solid background in number crunching. Many institutes have specialised courses entirely dedicated to data analytics and big data. You can give these institutes a shot to hire talented individuals.

Start quantifying business goals

Although it's tough to give every business goal a particular value, things can become a lot easier than they usually seem if you start this practice. Evaluate every business goal that can be quantified. In case there's anything that can't be quantified, it's better to attach a qualitative measure to it rather than leaving it unattended. Make it clear to your team that you won't take any decision or consider any request unless it's backed by proper data.

Understand KPI data

KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is a value which determines how effectively a business is able to achieve its objectives. Many organisations use KPI data to examine their success rate and make necessary changes in the long run. Start paying attention to KPI data right from the beginning.

Draw a relation between different metrics

Once you decide overall team goals with the help of KPI, try to draw a connection between them and your team's efforts. You can use MTTA (Mean Time To Acknowledge) an incident as a performance indicator and analyse how quickly your team achieves a particular goal.

Help your team understand data

There's no point in opting for a data-driven culture if not every team member is capable of understanding it completely. Create a dashboard or a shared folder wherein all the required information backed by correct numbers is available for everyone. Also, keep organising training and workshops on a regular basis to enhance your team's data skills.

Encourage team members

Encourage your team members to come up with innovative ideas that can help the business grow. Ask them to have proper numbers supporting their ideas so that you can take quick actions if necessary. This practice will not only boost your business growth rate but also instil confidence and a sense of responsibility in your team members.

In addition to these points, ensure you continue testing new, data-backed ideas to keep abreast with the current data trends.

What do you think about the data-driven culture at organisations? Let us know in the comments below!

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