Why a Data-Driven Culture Is Critical to Digital Transformation

By Danni White - Published on November 18, 2021
Digital Transformation

There is no longer a mystery or myth surrounding the role of data in organizations. As the workplace of the future changes, all organizations must adopt and implement the necessary cultural changes.

Data has always been closely interwoven with digital transformation. The first step toward digital transformation is taking control of data and removing obstacles that prevent the organization from utilizing it.

Although many technology leaders acknowledge data as a valuable asset within their organizations, to make the most of it, they must first comprehend its transformative potential and advocate for it.

Traditionally, leaders have been praised for their ability to display gut instincts, but this quality is no longer needed in the modern office setting. There are more data-driving operations in a business than ever before, so it isn’t incorrect to say that business leaders today need to cultivate a data-driven culture instead of relying on intuition.

The need for a solid data foundation lies at the core of this transformation promise. Some organizations don’t need to implement advanced analytics immediately to satisfy their customers or improve their workflows – and many are just not ready for this setup yet.

Rather, organizations that want to become data-driven and put digital first can still make great strides using a more measured approach.

Meaning of a Data-Driven Culture

In a data-driven culture, decisions are made based on data-derived facts, whether it is simple financial figures such as revenue or profit, advanced analytics results, or even qualitative data.

As part of a data-driven culture, data is regarded as the main source of insights within every department within an organization. A data-driven culture has always had an interest in numbers, but the extent of data use is exercised at a much higher level.

Data is being used to empower all employees to make more effective decisions, improve initiatives, and enhance the competitive advantages of an organization.

Ultimately, the goal is to build a culture of collaboration among all members of the organization so that data becomes the basis for all business decisions – from the data owner to the data scientist to the business analyst, and the staff who use it.

We must develop new, data-driven applications, discover patterns in data, and experiment with analytics solutions to see what works in operational processes.

Data-driven cultures are enabled by access to data, management of data quality, methodological knowledge for analyzing data, and technologies that enable them to be prepared and analyzed.

Why are you doing this?

When it comes to data and digital projects, many organizations fall into a common trap. The initiative is seen as a way to upgrade technology, with the misguided belief that it will improve workflows and productivity only by introducing new systems and applications.

This approach may hold some truth but lacks critical strategic focus. These questions should be answered: What’s the point?” and Why are we doing this? And what is the goal?

A digital transformation program typically involves migrating from manual, offline processes to digital, online ones. Therefore, digital transformation projects are fundamentally data projects, since migration involves digitizing data, content, and information across an organization. There is an unbreakable bond between the two, they cannot be separated.

In the same way, every organization must determine how its digital transformation strategy can produce desired business outcomes, but many overlook the implications of this transformation on their data.

A successful transformation works in two ways – the proliferation and use of data have a profound impact on the digital plan, and how that data is managed has a direct impact on how the planned digital transformation works.

It makes sense, then, for your data and digital strategies to be aligned. Despite not having a full-fledged data strategy, you can nail down a set of information and data-driven principles that will drive an action plan stemming from digital transformation, characterized by new tools, technologies, and talent.

(Also Read: Top 11 Digital Transformation Trends For 2021)

Deliver Intuitive Digital Experiences with Data

For enterprises, data has risen to become one of the most important elements. In the digital era, data is incomparable. Only when brands have access to the right data can DXPs craft moments of realization for their customers that are personalized and customized.

A data-driven company can use digital experience platforms (DXPs) to:

  • Identify immediate customer experience needs: Companies can drive scale by observing and analyzing every step of the customer’s buying journey.
  • Organize around the customer journey: Develop a community of best practices and competencies across teams to make data and insights actionable.
  • Train your teams on data and analytics: Data literacy and storytelling should be improved, as well as building a data-driven mindset.

A culture of data-driven leadership begins with effective data leadership. The vision becomes a force of its own once it has percolated through various organizational levels. The next step is monitoring how the culture is manifesting and complementing it with the right tools.

Implementing a Data-Driven Culture

We have now covered some of the basic benefits of a data-driven culture and will now look at some of the steps an organization can take to ensure a data-driven culture.

  • Developing a clear vision:

    You must develop a vision on the path to success on this front if you intend to successfully incorporate data into the DNA of any organization.

  • Secure and easy access:

    Implementing a data-driven mindset in an organization is all about allowing employees to access it easily and creating a culture shift across the organization.

  • Ensure your data is clean:

    Keeping data clean and clear requires regular maintenance. Analysts should know exactly what constitutes a good dataset.

  • Build agile teams:

    The culture within an organization is influenced by people, not tools. Making and regulating teams is the key to creating a data-driven culture.

  • Create rewards:

    For optimal results, you must instill competition as well as input data into the organization. Teams will be motivated and will work better with a reward system.

Final Thoughts

Hypotheses can be backed up with data, giving managers the confidence to jump into new areas without taking a risk. It is not enough to simply aim to become data-driven.

Developing a culture in which this mindset can flourish is necessary for companies to be data-driven. By demonstrating new habits and setting expectations, leaders can help to promote this shift.

Danni White | Danni White is the CEO of DW Creative Consulting Agency, a digital marketing firm specializing in elevating the visibility of small-to-midsize businesses and nonprofits. She is the author of 17 books and hosts the #Hashtags and Habits Podcast, which merges digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal growth.

Danni White | Danni White is the CEO of DW Creative Consulting Agency, a digital marketing firm specializing in elevating the visibility of small-to-midsize busi...

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