/ The role leaders can play in building a data-driven culture

The role leaders can play in building a data-driven culture

Despite the widespread organizational use of business intelligence, data warehousing, and even big data, there is a key impediment holding many businesses back from effectively using their data: a lack of culture that truly values data and analytics capabilities.



A data-driven culture moves beyond having a few successful data initiatives to treating data as a critical asset in everyday decision- making. It focuses on capturing and curating meaningful data from across the business, while encouraging frequent experimentation among employees to learn and improve.

Senior business leaders play a significant role in actively building a data-driven culture. C-suite executives who visibly use analytics in top-level decision-making can show the rest of the organization the value of this approach. The examples set by the most senior people in an organization can elicit meaningful shifts in company-wide behavior.

While cultural change takes a long time to embed, leaders must be relentless in their pursuit of building a data-centric organization. The insights gained from data analytics inform critical business decisions, leading to better outcomes, but analytics are also invaluable at providing information on customers, which results in improved customer service and streamlined business processes that save money and boost the bottom line.


What role can data and analytics play in helping leaders in today’s business environment?

Not only does leadership play a role in analytics, but analytics plays a role in leadership.

Randy Wootton, chief strategy officer at Seismic, in a conversation with Donald Farmer, principal at TreeHive Strategy as part of the ‘Data Curiosity: Do Data Differently’ podcast series explains how data can inform leaders how to better lead their teams.



Data gleaned from employee feedback, for example, workplace surveys – which ask people about their relationship with management, and what they think of the leadership — are crucial for organizations to strengthen their connectivity with staff. “The value of this data is in reinforcing a culture of accountability and transparency, which is essential to building that social connective tissue as you go down the chain,” Wootton says.

However, the real power is in the valuable follow-up conversations a leader has with colleagues about survey results. Using data to help inform these conversations ultimately helps create collective alignment and agreement that employees and their managers are going to work on the problem together.

Bringing in listening tools and real-life forums to augment the data inputs an organization has, starts to create a foundation for psychological safety. Creating an ongoing dialogue then seeds more transformation in organizational culture. As Alan Webber, founder of technology business magazine Fast Company, once said: “In the new economy, conversations are the most important form of work.”

Joy Driscoll, chief information officer at Vivint Smart Home, adds that one of the most important aspects of leadership is connecting with people. “If you [aren’t] leading with a level of empathy and connectivity with your customer or team, you probably [aren’t] leading very well.”


A leader’s role in encouraging data curiosity

Leadership plays a crucial role in fostering an inquisitive workforce, and data curiosity is the secret ingredient for a successful data-driven organization. It’s a dynamic part of data culture, one that encourages employees to persistently and instinctively seek new or existing data, question it, and use it to make more informed business decisions.



By examining and questioning the right data, employees can quickly gain insight into existing problems and collaborate with the relevant business units to solve the issue.

Fostering a healthy sense of curiosity in data analytics should empower people to access or question data, and also act on it. That means leaders must learn to trust their people to make the right decisions with the data they have, while employees must be open to the possibility of shifting processes or solutions to facilitate better collaboration.

A BI solution needs to be built with data curiosity in mind. Domo offers solutions that allow for maximum flexibility in the last mile of insight delivery, so data can be utilized across the entire organization to drive greater business value. Find more information here. You can also learn more about Domo’s self-service cloud BI here.

Check out some related resources:

Episode 1: Analytics in a Crisis

Episode 2: The New Dynamics of Data

Episode 3: Leadership and Analytics

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