Data Culture 101

published on 18 June 2021

The use of data inside most companies is to improve operational performance, bring widespread visibility, and uncover insights for decision-making. Companies invest heavily into data tools, teams and leaders to provide the value that come from their underlying data. When that cannot be performed, it's not nearly because companies don't have right people, technology or management - it's because they haven't developed the right Data Culture. While every organization is different, the common thread remains the same - having a strong data culture can maximize your ability to use data to make decisions. Let's break it down to show you how to generate within your business: 

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What is a Data Culture?

Data is and will continue to be an increasingly important (if not the most important) factor in business decision-making. Data analytics, data science, machine learning, and other data strategies are being leveraged more than ever to determine how a company operates currently and in the future. Despite investments into people and sophisticated technology, companies often struggle to navigate successfully with their data and fall short of goals and potential.  A Data Culture is the specific set of values and behaviors that enable data analytics. It requires leadership prioritization to invest in data technology and encouragement towards team members to use data to solve organization problems and create insightful stories. At the heart of building a culture, it requires a company to acknowledge that working with data is a core skill that is valuable across all departments.

How to build a Data Culture?

1. Buy-in from the top

As simple as this sounds, the only way to get this to work is to get buy in from the top. It's the same process as building company values, goals, OKRs, etc., it requires leadership communicating the effectiveness of data and reinforcing support to areas that leverage analytics for decision-making. Ultimately, when instituting a Data Culture, it's the responsibility of the leadership teams to reshape team members' perceptions, behaviors and understanding of how data can increase the success of their role and the company.

2. Democratize over dictatorship

While data is managed in a centralized environment, the accessibility of it is not. Instead, data is a shared resource across any and all business units for the intention of allowing any stakeholder to be a data steward and generate insights respective to their business unit. In traditional organizations without a Data Culture, data can appear to be difficult to access - due to either the technical lifting or confusion on the location. Instead, a Data Culture promotes a self-service methodology giving stakeholders complete exposure of data views across high-level and specific business use-cases. By doing so, stakeholders feel empowered to contribute to the collective business insights and drive continuous data enrichment and future investment. 

3. Align tech stack with business stack

A Data Culture is only as impactful as its ability to align and anticipate an organization's needs. Investing in technology without the proper staff to operate or without taking into consideration the company's use-cases and goals, will create tech debt and require additional investment to generate any outcomes. Instead, with your data teams and technology in lockstep with your business priorities, you can efficiently align your business needs with your data efforts. 

Building your Data Culture

Every business, brand, and organization is different but one thing rings true - a strong culture generates strong results. The same benefits a company creates with their internal culture and values can come with the importance put on with establishing a Data Culture. The values created by the leadership team and collective stakeholders will influence what tools, processes, people and measurement strategies are deployed. Finding the right tools that align with those values will give a company the horsepower drive data decision-making. 

Rubix instantly deploys the pillars of a Data Culture, through self-service tools, clear data and metric definitions, and a complete view of the most critical platforms in your business - Shopify, Google Analytics, Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Start your free (no credit card required) 30-day trial here:

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