7 Qualities of Data-Driven Enterprises
Everyone talks about becoming data-driven in their decision making and all-around general management. But what does it mean to be data-driven?
Approaches problems objectively: “To be data-driven is first and foremost the drive to be objective and evidence-based in your organizational decisions,” says Dr. Kirk Borne, principal data scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton. In his foreword in Data-Driven Leaders Always Win, he states that such decisions encompass just about every types of decision in every area of the business – including “products (manufacturing, supply chain, placement, pricing, and social/mobile/web content), processes (monitoring, detection, discovery, prediction, and optimization), and people (employees, customers, stakeholders, and new engagement opportunities).”
Puts a data-focused proponent in charge: Data-driven organizations often recognize they need to have a person in charge of the data analytics effort. “That data-driven officer may have different titles (and roles) in different organizations, but their importance is real: the CDO (Chief Data Officer), the CDS (Chief Data Scientist), or the CAO (Chief Analytics Officer),” Borne says.
They get creative about sourcing data: Departments may be sitting on data that may not have much value, but may be valuable to others. It’s a matter of thinking about all the possibilities. “Often, companies already have the data they need to tackle business problems, but managers simply don’t know how they can use this information to make key decisions,” according to a report from McKinsey & Company. “Operations executives, for instance, might not grasp the potential value of the daily or hourly factory and customer-service data they possess.” Data-driven enterprises “encourage a more comprehensive look at data by being specific about the business problems and opportunities they need to address.”
Everyone has access to some data: Data-driven organizations provide some level of access across their workforces. However, “almost no one has access to all of it,” Satyen Sangani writes in VentureBeat. “There are very few cultures where everyone can see nearly everything.” While data security is key, “most data-driven companies reach a stage where they have developed clear business processes to address these issues.”
They develop “renaissance” professionals: In data-driven organizations, analytics executives are encouraged to be “a renaissance professional in many ways, with a keen understanding spanning many disciplines,” according to an analysis published by EY. “Executives in analytics leadership roles also need to have intimate knowledge of the business, as well as a willingness to innovate in order to unleash the insights analytics is delivering.”
They put people first. Data analytics may seem cold and calculating, but at its core is a respect for people. Leaders in analytics “have advanced competencies in the people management aspect of data and analytics,” according to EY. Data-driven enterprises also provide “robust training programs that address potential skills shortages.”
They encourage an analytics-driven mindset. “The success of an analytics-driven enterprise depends on creating an analytics-driven mindset and enabling businesspeople to become better analytics consumers,” the EY report suggests. “Socializing the analytics mindset is more effective when people feel comfortable with the idea of analytics. The top 10% are more likely than their peers to conduct on-site seminars or workshops, enroll employees in off-site education programs or coaching, and provide mentoring by data and analytics professionals or leaders.”