In this article, I’ll stay away from talking about the business potential of data, CAGR rates, or any other fancy stats. The readers of the platform understand it to the core.
Data Culture – I fondly refer to it as the “Culture of Data Experience”. Here’s why I think so? Culture is an organizational component that reflects the voice of various elements – leadership alignment and vision, employees, collaboration, and the habitude. Cultural habitude can be based on consensus, hierarchy, or evidence. Reading through the past, it has been hierarchy based. It means that the top positions take the critical calls. This impacts the sheer creativity of the workforce. Next comes the consensus based, which lives heavily on guts and the sheer ability to do away with contentious or oblivious circumstances. The gut is backed by one’s experience but yet, limited by an individual’s curiosity to explore and adapt.
The last one is the culture based on facts, evidence, and insights. More than the guts or experience, it is the data that speaks and helps in taking better decisions. The organizations who have been operating low on data have realized that hiring a bunch of data and technical experts, can only help them to an extent of exploration, but not exploit the true potential of enormous volumes of data. The challenge though, even for the smartest companies in the league is – the workforce that understands the business has no clue of data practices, while the data experts struggle to get the knack of the domain. How shall we solve this? The answer lies in enabling the culture of Data experience.
Data as an Experience empowers the workforce to explore, interpret, and apply data insights in their routine process. What does it need to survive? Foremost, the leadership must align with the core principle of treating data as a strategic asset and communicate more often. The data strategy, products and programs should tie back to the business impact. In other words, the data leaders should be thinking of modeling business strategies with data at the center. Second – the employees alignment to the change – not uncertainty. Data literacy is not a medium to upskill one technically but an organizational development program. It must inculcate the roles and competencies to grow citizen roles. Third – organizations must establish a state of data democracy. Data sets are exploitable only when they are accessible. And the sheer resistance to make the data available for internal employees hints at the lack of trust and knowledge. Organizational data must be accessible in appropriate quality to the “citizen” data community, along with a self-service tool with an adaptable learning curve.
As per Randy Bean’s New Vantage 2021 Executive Survey report, only 24% organizations have been able to forge data culture. Interestingly, 92.2% executive believe that culture and people have been the biggest impediment in building data-driven culture. Data Citizens hold the key to data experiments and data-driven innovation. The culture of data experience is the need of the hour. It will not only enable better decision-making, but also increase the scale of experimentation.