Making Your Data Work For You: 5 Steps to Becoming a Data-Driven Organization

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Making Your Data Work For You: 5 Steps to Becoming a Data-Driven Organization

Why Put Your Data to Work?

As data experts, we’ve found that successful organizations think differently about data. Decision making is fully backed by data and analytics, resulting in significant cost savings and maximized ROI. However, few businesses are data-driven by design. For most organizations, it is an evolutionary process that begins with company culture and can take months or even years of adaptation.

In his book, The Evolution of the Data-Driven Company, analytics and digital marketing expert, Chris S. Penn, identifies five stages of evolution towards becoming data-driven. We’ll snapshot those below, but first – here’s what being a data-driven company means to us:

  • We agree internally that data can help us manage our business
  • We readily invest in data and analytics
  • We are transparent and share data across the organization 
  • We know how to analyze and prepare insights from the data
  • We are open to learning and adapting based on what the data tells us
  • And, we can help you navigate these stages of evolution when you’re ready to make your data work for you and become a data-driven organization.

The Five Stages of Evolution: Becoming Data-Driven

Stage 1. Data-Resistant

“This is the way it’s always been.” This is a statement defined by company leadership struggling to convey the necessity of cultural change. In order to move to the next stage, an organization needs to work closely with employees to mitigate fears and build confidence around upcoming cultural shifts. 

Stage 2. Data-Curious

“We have data, so now what?” Questions around data collection and value arise from CRM/ERP systems and there is a general understanding around the potential of this information, but the value itself has not yet been revealed. Many organizations get stuck at this stage, mostly due to corporate hierarchy. Fear of confidentiality can block organizational growth. 

To prevent data breaches while moving organizational culture to the next stage, we suggest adopting a holistic data management policy. Our experts can help establish clear guidelines and a consistent regulation process.

Stage 3. Data-Aware

“What does our data say?” Here an organization is beginning to extract value from the data using basic tools. Employees will begin to adopt the tactics, but not the overall strategy. It will look like “let’s not do that again.” and “let’s do more of this.” Tactical victories seem to be enough to make stakeholders happy. 

Stage 4. Data-Savvy

Data-savvy organizations understand that the value of data goes beyond tactical purposes. They see data as a strategic asset and can therefore shift focus from “What’s going on?” to “Why is this happening?” A data-savvy organization might be questioning: 

  • Why did sales decrease in the last quarter?
  • Why are customers buying less?
  • Why do 80% of consumers choose yellow products over red?

The last question: “What are we going to do with this?” becomes the trigger for enterprise transformation. 

Stage 5. Data-Driven

Data-driven culture is all about aligning data, analytics, and insights to answer the “What’s next?” question. By harnessing the power of your data, decision-making is simplified and actionable. 

When data underpins every decision in your company, every meeting focuses on analysis and decisions are backed by facts. This is how a data-driven organization operates!

Future-thinking leaders must engage and train their entire organization to become data literate. Although it doesn’t happen overnight, there’s a clear roadmap with actionable steps to become data-driven. Looking for a partner with the expertise and stamina to get you there? Schedule a complimentary consultation with a senior member of our data services team to see if we might be a good fit.

Want More? Download the Whitepaper

Take a deeper dive into the strategies outlined by our in-house data experts by downloading our whitepaper, How to Become a Data-Driven Organization. We’ve used those strategies to create a step-by-step guide to becoming data-driven.

How to Build a
Data-Driven Organization

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