Building a data-driven Organization

Posted by Mahesh Yellai on 3rd Aug , 2016
"Business Meeting", Image Courtesy: StartupStockPhotos at FreeRangeStock

There is enough evidence, both in academic research and Industry research, to show that data-driven Organizations outperform their competition. As an example, take the paper, "Data Assets and Industry Competition: Evidence from 10-K Filings", authored by Adam Saunders and Prasanna Tambe. The authors analyzed 10-K filings of companies from 16 years to show how data-intensive firms are outperforming their competitors.

So, what makes a business, data-driven?

To be data-driven, businesses need to develop a data-driven culture. In this article, we will discuss five traits of a data-driven Organization.

1. In God they trust, everyone else brings data

"In God We Trust", Image Courtesy: michael gardner at FreeImages

All discussions centre around data. Opinions are formed only after reviewing data and looking at facts. Every participant in a meeting has access to the relevant data during a meeting and all such meetings start with data analysis and end with opinions, not the other way round.

2. Everyone has access to the data they need

"Reading room in the British Library", Image Courtesy: David at Flickr

Everyone that has to make decisions has easy access to the data they need. Business users use tools that help them ask questions easily and quickly, so they don’t have to depend on IT for every new answer they need from the data. They use frictionless tools for frustration-free decision making.

3. IT owns the data while Business owns the insights

"Working in Tandem", Image Courtesy: StartupStockPhotos at FreeRangeStock

IT is responsible for managing the data infrastructure, but not for generating the insights required by the Business. Business has easy access to relevant data, so they can derive and own the insights they need to make the right decisions.

4. They get it, Reporting is not Analytics

"At Sea", Image Courtesy: Gian Cardos at FreeImages

Remember the sailor in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and how he felt about water: "water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink"? Most businesses, feel that way about their data: much data and many reports, but far too few meaningful insights. However, data-driven Organizations don’t fall into this data-overload trap. They don’t focus on reports or dashboards, but on questions and answers to get the insights that can drive decisions.

5. They ask and they receive

"Solving the Puzzle", Image Courtesy: Ken Teegardin at Flickr

The questions they ask their data are motivated by their business goals. These goals are well-defined and everyone in the Organization that needs to make a decision knows about these goals, so they can frame the right questions to ask without wasting their time chasing the wrong answers.

Final Word

"Speeding on the Freeway", Image Courtesy: Dominik "Dome" at Flickr

It is as much about culture as it is about tools and infrastructure. Which is why, an initiative to transform into a data-driven Organization should have a CXO level sponsorship. There should be a buy-in, right at the top, to adopt the best practices for data-drivenness. Watch this video to know how Vizard can help you switch gears on the data highway.

About Infruid

Infruid Labs is a Business Analytics and Data Visualization solutions company. Vizard is Infruid’s patent-pending and award-winning Big Data Visualization platform. Vizard helps business users ask questions in simple English and answers back with interactive charts. Ask for a demo to know more.