Creating a data-driven organization doesn’t just happen overnight. Just because you provide someone with a chart or report, doesn’t mean they are automatically going to start making data-driven decisions. Like all change in an organization, it’s a multi-step process that requires some time, some people, and some planning. An analytics culture transforms the nature of your conversations: it is one where people talk about facts and data, and demand it if it does not exist.
Step One: Set Expectations
Just like in school, unless someone is “graded” or evaluated on something, they’re going to find it hard to dedicate time or effort to it. The first steps is to not only provide information (charts, reports, dashboards, etc.), but to also set the expectation that this information needs to be used.
Collectively develop a few metrics that matter to the organization, department, or group and determine the time frames in which those metrics have relevance. Get the data if you don’t have it. Begin to measure, monitor and track individuals’ performance based on those analytics. Discuss those in meetings. This will provide focus and clarity for the organization. This will lead to step two.
Step Two: Delivering Self-Service
People are going to start to get an appetite for data, and they’ll recognize that in order to succeed they need to have analytics. They will also start to realize that they can’t possibly expect a small centralized IT organization to answer all their questions if they don’t even know what their questions are in advance. This is when the self-service analytics piece comes in.
By providing these individuals with self-service tools, they will now be able to get their own answers. Behind the scenes you are getting people to change the way they think about how they make decisions. They are looking for the information that can help them make better decisions (data-driven decisions).
If you have a hunch, that’s great – that’s your hypothesis. Go test your hypothesis through analytics to see if it’s right or wrong. If it’s right, great. If it’s wrong, that’s also great – then you won’t spend money on a tactic that wasn’t well researched.
Step Three: Feeding the Virtuous Analytics Cycle
Now that you are starting to see that cultural shift towards being data driven, you need to get these self-service users to feed the cycle of information that is provided the larger group of individuals who are content just consuming the data IT provides.
By providing these proven insights to the larger group, at a faster pace, you are going to make your entire organization more competitive.
It’s not just about providing self-service analytics to users. It’s self-service in combination with your larger analytic applications that will really create the most impact and will help transform the mindset of an organization to be data-driven.