Creating company culture for data driven decisions
Written by Creme Global
A recent survey of top Fortune 1000 and industry leading companies showed heavy investment in Big Data and AI initiatives but yet they continue to struggle to derive tangible value from this data-driven investment. Why? Those surveyed stated that the cultural challenges within the company rather than any technological ones remained the biggest hurdle to overcome. So how can you place data at the centre of your business and get it working for you?
Over the years of working directly with companies to implement data projects, we have developed and refined a process to support the implementation of such projects in large companies. The process involves working closely with each stakeholder user group to understand their needs, building team buy-in through one-to-one training, increasing time efficiency and allowing your team to easily predict cost-saving events, and make rapid decisions with confidence.
Your data journey can be represented by four key distinct steps, adding increased value to your company with each step – Gathering, Understanding, Insight, and Foresight. As companies move through the steps, valuable insights are gained for your key stakeholders, and easy-to-use secure dashboards allow them to make key, data-informed decisions. So what does each step really mean?
Data driven decisions are only as good as the data they are based on. The quality of the data is more than just about good records, but how well it can be combined with other data sources. The base of the pyramid is about capturing all the relevant data and presenting it in a way so that it can be integrated, whether that is a database, text file or excel spreadsheet. It deals with logging services, sensors, user input, etc. Once these basic needs are met we start to try to understand the data. It is possible to work on infrastructure, look at data standards, data quality, security and privacy.
With data captured a company can start to process data in various ways, create complex queries and run these on a schedule, and create and infer metadata. This might be comparing products sold to profits, or extracting other key performance indicators for the company or individuals.
The data is now qualified enough to generate reports and explore the data, this could be on a KPI dashboard, or using business intelligence tools to explore what variables affect each other or try to visualise and hence understand anomalies such as a dip in sales.
Finally when we understand what is happening in our business today we can move to predicting the future or the effect of changing aspects of our business. We can model our business and change variables to see if it improves profits, or we can build machine learning solutions to assist in automating our business.
Creating value and benefit of this kind for the company greatly aids developing the all essential culture that is required to drive a company forward with data driven decisions. In a market dominated by companies built on prolific and innovative use of data, it’s now essential to focus on nurturing this company culture if you wish to compete.
The reality for most companies is that they are performing well in some isolated areas or departments where they may have a data strategy. This integrated data strategy will define a system for gathering data, harmonising with other data sources and visualising it in a Business Intelligence Tool. This will allow them to start predictive modeling in just this slice of the business.