Build great culture and success with your data-literate organization
Today, companies are well aware that the data produced by various business processes need to be leveraged to deliver insights for better decision-making. However, despite significant investments in software and technologies, only a tiny percentage of companies have reached widespread adoption of their data management platforms and can claim they are true data-literate companies.
For the majority that cannot substantiate this claim, an investment into data management software and technology — especially for a small- or medium-sized business — could come across as a frustrating misallocation of resources.
On the one hand, they were sold a vision where crucial and contextualized data would always be ready to assist in decision-making. On the other, that reality remains an unrealized objective. While decision-makers can visualize the end goal and the potential, their businesses are still struggling to deploy their data platforms at scale. They can’t seem to move from pilots and proofs-of-concept to the company-wide deployment of projects that deliver benefits to multiple internal clients instead of just a single client or use case.
These companies are missing a key piece of the puzzle. They need to understand that while cutting-edge data management and analytics technology is a must, it’s equally important to update one’s data culture and ways of working with data. This means that companies should invest at least as much in education and communication as they do in technology.
A recent survey of chief data officers by a leading analyst firm found that poor data literacy is one of the top three barriers in building strong data and analytics teams.
Companies that invest in both expert training and data technology can realize a data culture that advances them from:
Inefficient silos to collaborative success
Organizations traditionally assign budgets by functions or business units, making assembling multidisciplinary teams a huge challenge. But the perils of siloed thinking don’t stop there. When they are in their siloes, teams have no visibility over the impact of their decisions further down the value chain. Worse, their data is often just stuck with them, never being used by other teams to unlock more value or efficiencies. Then, when a bad decision cascades from one siloed team to another, it is often very costly, in time and money, to rectify the problem.
Instead, the transition to a collaborative approach emphasizes continuous cross-team communication and a more holistic view of the team’s place in the enterprise. It means every team can bring their expertise to bear while understanding how they can use data management and analytics technology to align their work with the business’s needs.
A project to product management mindset
Another significant perspective shift brought about by enhanced data culture and education is transitioning from a project to a product management mentality. Traditionally, a culture based on project management is more tactical, focusing primarily on the execution side.
Then, when an enterprise pursues initiatives requiring more than a year to deliver tangible value, the inability to think more holistically could be a risk for current and future data projects. So instead, companies should not only focus on delivering projects; rather, they should compile a portfolio of data initiatives with different time horizons to ensure the continued relevancy and value realization of their products (or services.)
Fortunately, the path to realizing a product management mind-set can be mapped out by engaging external partners to accelerate this transition — one with a shared vision to empower professionals with expertise and capabilities to enable learning to happen anytime, anywhere.
Unequal competencies to shared empowerment
A company’s data culture needs to be a shared experience. Thus, companies need to educate everyone, from their senior executives to end-users, to transform into and sustain being a data-literate organization.
Realizing a change mind-set can be supported with help from partners. Apgar Consulting’s consultants benefit from training by industry leaders – those who leverage their vertical expertise and global presence to accelerate knowledge sharing and transfer for a company’s distributed teams. With a proven track record, partners like TIBCO can also provide ready tools such as Analytics Maturity Assessment that our professionals and customers can already use from the get-go. Particularly with a company’s data culture, change can happen from both inside-out and outside-in. Our customers are the biggest winners at the end of the day, tapping on experiences built upon experts across geographies and industries.
Giving everyone the right skills sets and get straight to business
Data literacy is not one size fits all. Data literacy is having the right level of literacy in the role that you are serving.
For senior executives, getting culture and education right from the start means giving teams a high-level understanding of data management stakes and objectives and techniques to identify and prioritize data projects. This diffuses to other teams like business teams, who will be provided with the fundamental technical training and coaching on the techniques to develop use cases, and IT teams, who will be allowed to hone the hard and soft skills related to data management and analytics, which never stops evolving.
Don’t mistake an investment into data technology as being a turnkey solution to making your organization a data-literate one. Instead, you need to involve experienced partners and organizational data experts to demonstrate how your teams can work together and work with data to realize enterprise-wide gains.
Apgar Consulting is an experienced services provider who can build this path and deliver a plan to accelerate a company’s learning curve.
Speak with us today on how we can tailor the right solution for your business so you can realize a compelling and authentic data culture.