The crucial role that data and its interpretation plays in the performance of teams is now clear. Projects expressed around data are now at the heart of company activity. However, according to a Gartner report, 85% of dataorientated projects launched in 2017 failed. What are the reasons behind this? How to maximise the use of data? Beyond deploying technology, it is primarily a question of instiling a data driven culture. On paper, the idea seems very attractive. In practice, the approach appears to be more delicate.
What is a data-driven culture?
Data is not an additional tool but a genuine opportunity for management. It is therefore necessary to change the mindset of your company: This does not involve only marketing and IT but all business areas. There is thus a horizontal (transversal) impact on all business areas. Even though many companies collect as much data as possible, many of them underuse it, or not at all due to concerns about security, lack of appropriate skills or clear objectives. This is why developing a data driven culture is vital.
A data driven culture can be defined as placing data and teams at the heart of the decision-making process by communicating transparent information.
This results in some quite profound changes. The reflex may often be to doubt or reject change and new approaches, which hinders the emergence of creative ideas and solutions. To reverse this trend and adopt a data driven culture, it is essential that top management be at the heart of the change. Without strong support and involvement of managers, teams will not have a template to follow, nor a strategic vision and are unlikely understand the value of the approach.
A data driven culture to drive collective intelligence
Very much present in the animal world, notably among ants, collective intelligence allows a group to be more creative, more innovative, more efficient by using the skills of individuals for the benefit of the group. This collective intelligence is a reality of everyday company life. Employees and partners must work together towards a common goal. This team working has a direct impact on the success of projects. Without necessarily being aware of it, you promote and maintain this collective intelligence. To take this further, promoting a culture based on data is a key factor for success. Providing data and information, is to share and use the knowledge required to complete tasks and projects successfully.
This also allows team members to share their experience, information which may be useful to other areas or simply to engage in dialogue on certain subjects. The objective is to achieve operational excellence together. To do so, team working is essential but not sufficient. It is essential to make data-centric culture a reality by engaging in rituals which allow teams to communicate (for example with regular team briefings), to federate them and involve them more deeply.
Digital tools are available to favour this collective intelligence. Visual management allows you to communicate vital KPIs to the widest audience, to encourage selfmanagement and team working (helping one another) between teams. It is by making data more available (to all) that you develop collective intelligence and attain operational excellence.
It is not sufficient to deploy technology to develop a sincere data driven culture. It also requires you to accompany your teams and experience the benefits on a daily basis, for all management levels to be involved and convinced of the benefits. Do not hesitate to call upon an external partner to challenge you on this and to offer appropriate solutions.