There’s a data revolution happening, and younger businesses, like Netflix, Uber, and Airbnb, are at the forefront. These companies are reaping the benefits of being able to quickly gather, render, and interpret data to make key business decisions.
A “data culture” not only empowers employees, but also strengthens businesses against competition. If you don’t build one, you may lose talent to younger companies that offer more freedom and satisfaction.
Here are six ways to improve your company’s data culture:
1. Map the data.
To effectively use data, the entire company needs access to it. The best way to do this is through a data map, which shows where data is coming from and what it means. Data maps can also uncover “dark data” — information that may unused or undervalued simply because it has yet to be studied. Cross-referencing seemingly unrelated data could lead to major savings.
Through mapping data, insurance companies are increasing fraud prevention, and streaming video services are able to tap into new markets. It’s an important first step that gets everyone involved.
2. Encourage different interpretations of the data.
Seeing value in interrelated data requires a creative eye — or many. Data can be viewed in a number of ways. Your team members should feel comfortable expressing what they see in the data, and as a leader, you should encourage employees to share their various interpretations.
3. Cultivate transparency.
Once the data is collected, share it with the entire company. Data shouldn’t be kept private by a single team or department. Being transparent with the data ensures it can be utilised fully, often for unexpected purposes, that can benefit the company. Transparency is a keystone of an accurate data map.
4. Reward people who use data effectively.
It’s helpful to recognise and rewards individuals and teams for successfully using data to achieve company goals. Not only does it boost morale, but it will encourage more employees to do the same. Create positive data-based goals for your employees to work toward — such as new ways of understanding customer behaviour, or identifying new markets — and generously reward them for accomplishing those goals.
5. Identify areas of friction.
In outdated business models, certain departments may develop rivalries based on conflicting goals. Internal debate and compromise is a healthy part of any business, but businesses with a successful data culture will defer to the data to solve conflict between departments. Emotional rivalries can be counterproductive, so using empirical data to settle conflicts is a smart solution.
6. Focus on strategy and innovation.
Innovative companies like Facebook and Whirlpool host ideation sessions and hackathons, where employees are encouraged to participate in strategy planning. This contributes to a dynamic, transparent data culture. When employees have access to data and freedom to make recommendations based on that data, the company will thrive in the long run.
Adapted from a Cognisant whitepaper, “How to Create a Digital Culture,” by Poornima Ramaswamy.
Find out more about Sponsored Content.
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.