4-step approach to make your data talk to you


Your data will talk to you, if you are willing to listen. A major cable-TV channel used viewer and other data to create a highly detailed list of its viewers’ core values and beliefs. The company reviewed almost every decision it made against those core values. Whatever did not fit in never got the green light to continue, even if it had commercial potential. This is an organization which is truly data driven when it comes to customer engagement.

It is great to see how data is the fuel for success for any size organization across all industries. Insights from data helps you to innovate and make smarter decisions based on facts, instead of gut feeling. Being data-driven is about giving the business decision makers the power to explore data and make predictions.

However, almost all organization go through the following four stages in the journey with their data.  It's important not only to understand where you are; its also critical embrace the reality and work together with all key stakeholders within your organization to move forward.

  1. Data denial: Organization mistrust data and avoid using it
  2. Data indifferent: Organization don’t care where data exists and how it can be used
  3. Data informed: Organization only use data when it supports individual's opinion
  4. Data driven: Data is used to shape all decisions across the organization

It is key for an aspiring data driven organization to understand and create awareness internally. Assuming you are one of them, it is also necessary to have honest dialogue on how different parts of your organization perceive their data. A clear vision 'To treat data as a core asset, to protect it and to leverage it as a core business enabler' is what every digital leader is striving for in today’s digital world.

If you are one of the organizations moving forward with this journey the following four steps will help you to achieve your goal:

Step 1: Face your data challenge and view data as a core asset 

Organizations collect and analyze a vast array of data, including financial, human resource, operational, asset data and more. You or your leaders struggle as they access the data and try to make sense of it. Their biggest enemy: Time. In today’s global economy where business conditions are changing ever so rapidly, it’s critical for leaders to know the makeup of their organization, so they can adjust course swiftly.

Organizations need to find solutions that can convert data into information and present it in a meaningful manner to business leaders. As the data is getting more and more complex constantly looking for solutions that gives context to your data has become the key to any organization’s success.

Step 2. Respect data in various forms available and establish internal data partnership

Trust me, many of your business-critical information is still there in some excel sheet. Someone who understands your business data well is keeping it a in an excel, because it is easy to use. We need to respect the data itself rather than how it’s stored and processed right now. Once done, all business data owners need to be persuaded to leverage modern technology. Meanwhile they should also be appreciated for the data and insight they have for your business. The following five tips may help you to handle this situation better:

  • Create a taxonomy that is standardized
  • Find ways to collaborate more and create an open data culture
  • Demonstrate more willingness to embrace what’s possible
  • Create better training opportunities for employees
  • Leverage data tools

Step 3: Prototype data-driven journeys and drive organization innovation using data

Data and analytics can help organizations innovate as it helps identify interdependencies between humans, institutions, entities, and processes more apparent through study of data relationships. Organizations can use these techniques to gain a better perspective on how making changes in one process or function will affect another process or function.

Data visualization is critical to understand data relationships and shortening the decision makers' path to actionable intelligence. Presentation and storytelling are essential to innovation; if your audience of busy managers and executives cannot grasp ideas easily and understand their potential, they are unlikely to be persuaded. Hence its advisable to invest on data story telling in a way that your organization sees value in it.

Step 4: Keep learning from your peers

Data driven strategy is key for you who are striving for innovation and intending to go digital. Your data driven approach needs to align with the core DNA of your organization to deliver value. A data driven organization also enables clear involvement of partners, contractors, vendors and suppliers beyond just internal stakeholders. Your organization and all players in your business ecosystem like people, process and system perspective need to align and believe in it to deliver business success.

It’s advisable to learn from yours and others’ mistakes. It’s okay to fail fast, learn and move on. Agility is the key and all data driven organizations are highly agile and very keen on understanding from other industries how to leverage data in a better way. Do not limit your understanding within your core business domain. Keep exploring other industries and it will offer you endless possibilities of leveraging your data in better ways.

Intresserad av hur du kan arbeta mer datadrivet i din organisation. Kontakta Neelima Misra! 

Kontakta Neelima Misra

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