Needless to say, businesses that refine and leverage the power of data will be the businesses that survive. According to IDC, a market-research firm, an estimate of annual data created and copied every year will reach 180 zettabytes (180 followed by 21 zeros) in 2025. The sheer volume of this data alone presents new and disruptive ways of doing business to organizations. That said, choosing to go the analytics way is not a simple exercise for any organization. As easy (and obvious) as taking the decision is, actual execution requires creation, incubation, and sustenance of an analytics culture across the enterprise.
So, what are the ways to create such a culture within the organization? Find out in this two part series!
- Understand That Data Analytics is not limited to IT!
A good starting point is to set the context by believing that data and analytics aren’t just Information Technology assets. To quote Bain & Company, “It isn’t a technology initiative to be left entirely to data scientists and IT departments. It’s a strategic business opportunity that requires technical savvy and organizational coordination.” It helps for the top leadership of the organization to institutionalize this spirit across all departments. To do this, the senior management should conduct ‘top down’ workshops with respective departments highlighting the benefits that are waiting to be derived.
Potential ‘early adopter’ members may be identified from each department who can be put into a cross-functional team. With least resistance to change, these workers should be tasked with mapping out departmental processes and asking key questions required at each level. Not only will this urge them to think and challenge the status-quo, but also bind them closer to the management and its vision of an analytics culture.
- Develop the Habit of looking for Missing Business Insights
Progress to asking employees – what business insights they would want? What information could make their job easier and better? It is difficult to build an analytics culture unless every employee down to the operational members is sold on the concept. It is equally important that there is no threat perception to their jobs – a feeling of goodwill needs to be instated through management assurance that data analytics is good. It would only aid the employees in their daily discharge of duties.
The feedback from employees across levels on their business insights’ requirement should be collated into the Problem Charter. Examples of this could include Sales & Marketing hiccups related to target setting and prospect funneling, or even Accounts issues related to travel & tour budgeting. The more exhaustive, the better.
- Break Data Islands
A key challenge often found within organizations pertains to the silos in which departments operate. While the division of labor makes economic sense in that it leads to specialization and eventually higher productivity, it also leads to the formation of data islands. Ways of storing business data and even their reporting vary across business units. This needs to be broken. The more data fluidity is encouraged, the better are the organizational outcomes. A culture to this effect can be created by framing and circulating organizational data templates and models. These would unify data collection and reporting formats across the units. The immediate benefit would be two – fold.
a) An intra-organizational flow of data would increase making the workforce more data driven.
b) Data from multiple departments can be synergized to build more meaningful information.
To read more on creating a culture of analytics in your organization, stay tuned for Part 2!0