How data-driven culture can help businesses thrive

The business world is moving quickly, with digital innovations usurping traditional operating and reporting methods and giving birth to a new era of business intelligence. The tools are available to make modern organisations conduct analysis on many aspects of their operations. All that is required are the skills and willingness to unlock their benefits.

Such is the challenge many businesses are now facing – getting their employees up to speed with new techniques and how their efforts can be optimised. Promoting and nurturing a workplace culture driven by data is critically important in the digital era, so how can your organisation develop the welcoming environment required?

Business intelligence solutions should be a team effort.Business intelligence solutions should be a team effort.

The value of data-driven culture

Large or small, all companies thrive or fail based on the efforts of their employees. People are perhaps the most important element in any form of digital transformation, so creating a working environment that is receptive to change and prepared to work for a better future is the first step on the path towards effective business intelligence solutions. 

Nurturing a workplace culture driven by data is critically important in the digital era.

According to Deloitte's 2016 Global Human Capital Trends survey, 82 per cent of CEOs and HR leaders agree that having a strong company culture can be a significant competitive advantage. That belief may not be enough, however – only 28 per cent of survey respondents feel they have a solid understanding of their own workplace, with just 19 per cent believing their existing culture is the right one.

Understanding is a two-way street. Not only do leaders need to have a clear view of how their employees are feeling before being able to adjust their workplace environment, but the reasons why change is required must be clearly communicated to the workforce.

"Trying to implement new behaviours and measurements without addressing the underlying culture is counterproductive – it results in even well-intentioned people slipping back into old, undesirable behaviours during times of pressure and uncertainty," says Alan Duncan, research director at Gartner.

"As something members of the organisation must do collectively, substantive business transformation begins with culture, and culture begins with a shared language for how information is managed and used." 

Building a data-driven culture can improve business intelligence success.Building a data-driven culture can improve business intelligence success.

Driving change from the top

If there's a theme running through the findings in Deloitte's survey it's that, in order to be effective, digital tools such as business intelligence solutions must be beneficial in a way that all employees will understand. The simplest way to do that is to ensure the leadership team are the ones driving the changes – outlining benefits, impacts to workflows and anything else employees should be aware of.

Research has shown that this top-down approach is indeed one of the best ways forward. In a survey of of 530 senior executives from around the world, the Economist Intelligence Unit found that 49 per cent of respondents felt that guidance from the executive level was responsible for the success of data-driven culture, followed closely by promoting the sharing of data amongst teams (48 per cent) and communicating the benefits of data-driven decision-making (40 per cent).

You might be noticing a pattern here, one of collaboration, sharing and communication. That's the secret to becoming a data-driven business – bringing the entire team along for the ride, not simply putting solutions in place with little or no internal discussion.

The team at A to BI not only has the solution consulting expertise when it's time to implement business intelligence, but also training programmes to ensure you and your employees have the skills required to get the most out of the tools. Get in touch with us today, and take the first step on the path towards a data-driven culture.