data driven navigating the turn

Revving Up a Data-Driven Team

Part 5: Navigating the Turn

Over the past month, we’ve shared ideas for transforming your team into one that’s data driven. We’ve looked at this through different perspectives, and some broader themes have emerged. With this final installment, let’s review those themes that span our earlier studies of culture, organizational structure, talent, and technology.

3 Universal Qualities of a Data-Driven Environment

  • Collaborative – You can’t make this change without strong partners.
    • Your IT counterparts are invaluable resources. In fact, a recent study by McKinsey revealed that 76% of business leaders want IT to operate as partners, but this is only occurring 27% of the time.
    • Additionally, you’ll want to work closely with other business groups within your company, sharing analytics learnings.
    • Don’t forget your analytics tool provider. All of these groups will be working with your team, with the same goal of growing your business.

  • Flexible – Everything won’t fall into place right away. With this sort of change, your team will experience a learning curve. Responsibilities may need to shift from what you initially envisioned. During this transition, don’t be too rigid about who’s doing what.

    Flexibility is also needed for your technology. With so much innovation occurring within big data, choose a solution that gives you the most agility in the long term.

  • Accountable – Your team members need to own their analytics. No more passively waiting for somebody else to deliver reporting. They need to know their business better than they have before. And beyond that – to develop actionable plans based on their data.

    Additionally, you need to hold your technology vendors accountable. They should be providing you superior customer service, responsiveness, and reliability. If they’re not, you may want to explore other options.

3 Universal Expectations of a Data-Driven Environment

  • Speed – Your analytics tool needs to provide answers quickly – in seconds rather than days or weeks. The learning curve for this tool also needs to be brief. Both of these aspects enable your team to move rapidly – to ask questions and gain insights as fast as they can type. This allows them to gain insights and respond swiftly to opportunities in the marketplace. Speed is your new competitive advantage.
  • Intelligence – Don’t lose sight of what the I in BI represents. You’re hiring smart people, of course. But what makes them invaluable is how they’re continually acquiring and applying new knowledge. They’re learning how to get even more out of their analytics tool and expanding their skillsets. They’re studying your industry and customers for ways to grow the business.

  • Innovation – Your analytics solution provider should be bringing you the latest advances in business intelligence. Your team should use their tools to be creative problem solvers and curious thinkers. You should hire for those skills – but also nurture those skills by creating an environment where innovations are valued and rewarded.

We’ve crossed the finish line on this series. But for you and your team, this is the start of your journey toward becoming data driven. Buckle up.

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