Enabling and Empowering Culture Through Data Visibility and Visualization

Our Roundtable Sessions are invite-only events hosted by peers for peers that bring together a select group of senior IT leaders from across industries for topic-driven, intimate dialog on current trends and topics. We hosted this Session featuring a group of CXOs and other IT executives. The group met remotely to discuss how to enable and empower your culture through data visibility and visualization, led by the CTO for a renowned online course provider. This Session was sponsored by Sisense.

September 20, 2021

Almost every company today is trying its best to become a data-driven organization.  Data visibility and visualization are powerful tools to empower team members to innovate and make informed decisions.  It also enables the team to be more predictive than reactive and to be more agile. That said, moving to a data-driven culture has its challenges.

Making Data Visible and Usable

Several attendees mentioned implementing self-service for data and building data dashboards for team members at all levels. One executive said that within their culture of innovation, they look to ideas from other external teams to spur their own.  It was also mentioned that data should be made a part of the everyday workflow to be easily accessible and never forgotten.  Also discussed was the need to centralize data to ensure consistency.  One challenge that needs to be overcome is deciding what data users need rather than overwhelming them.  One way to do this is by classifying data.

Trust the Data

A challenge in getting people on board with being data-driven is to ensure that they trust the data.  Data must be of high quality, and that quality needs to be communicated to users so that they trust it to make decisions. Distrust comes if the data is not consistent, circling back to the need for centralization that was discussed. One attendee talked about how being transparent about how data is developed helps to demystify it, and enables people to be confident in the quality to use it to make decisions.  

Why Culture can be a Barrier

Culture is a barrier to a company being data-driven because you have to change behavior to create a data-driven culture.. You need to make team members see the value of using that data, and one way to do this is to start small and celebrate quick wins.    

An executive said that when asking people to change, "that's the moment of the highest uncertainty about the value of this proposition, where the change agent has the least amount of credit to cause people to say yes. The thing you have to look for is a quick win because with a quick win, all of a sudden, you go from opinion to data by this proof. You need to provide value early, you can learn at relatively low cost, you build champions that then will go in and support this, and you start to embark on this virtuous cycle." You should start with one small thing, such as who will benefit the most from being data-driven, and give them that quick win so that they become a champion of it.

How to Measure Success

You know that you have been successful when you see people using the data and the innovation and decision-making of those results. The build-measure-learn cycle accelerates, joint problem solving is enabled, and agility increases.  Multiple users can contribute to projects at once by using data.  Team members will see that "knowledge can be translated into power." You can also see success from the increasing demand for data and the increased budget that follows. It's important to show people the data of your quick wins so that they know that it's working.

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