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Data-Driven Culture: Why Do You Need It and How to Enable It

In a world where data is overflowing and is being accumulated through various tools more than at any other point in history, organizations know it's crucial to start using it. Analysis and usage of data in the right way leads to more satisfied customers, new users, higher revenue, and successful strategy.

9 min read

But why so many companies find it hard to rely on data as the universal source for decision-making? The answer is simple: to truly be data-driven, organizations need to create a data-driven culture as a go-to strategy.

According to a study by NewVantage Partners, companies find that not so easy and even fail some of the time. Nevertheless, data-driven culture remains at the very top of the ways to lead your decisions anchored in data. Keep reading to see what data-driven culture is all about, why it’s important, and how Slingshot fits in the equation. 

The Essence of Data-Driven Culture

When an organization is always putting data at the center of decision-making and insights throughout each department, we can define that as a data-driven culture. Тreating data as the central source of insight for any choice at any level and department is key. When everyone in your company knows that relying on data is the strategy, they start using that approach in their daily routine and everything falls into place. 

Here are some of the techniques used across companies for creating such a culture. 

    • Gathering data based on measurable goals or KPIs 
    • Interpreting models and patterns and extracting valuable and relevant judgments based on them
    • Using those judgments to determine the next steps in any situation or project
    • Basing strategies on facts across all divisions in the company and across all functional teams 
    • Using the data as a central authority in the decision-making process 

Having data frame all the decisions in choosing the way forward is the core of data-driven culture in companies. But why is data so empowering overall? Well, for one thing, it brings transparency to the whole enterprise and helps provide easily consumable insights that can help you control the narrative with ease. Every time organizations use data to make a decision, they make it easier for everyone, from top management to frontline workers, to stay on the same page and thrive together.

Data-Driven Culture: Why Do You Need It and How to Enable It

The Importance of Achieving a Data-Driven Culture 

“The goal is to turn data into information and information into insight.”

– Carly Fiorina, former chief executive officer, Hewlett Packard.

So why is achieving a data-driven culture in your company so important?

Overall, it is a huge leap forward for any company. Trusting data to direct your decisions means not starting from scratch, but relying on something that has worked well before, taking it into account, and putting it at the center. That way, errors are shaved to a minimum, and success is almost always guaranteed.

Building a data-driven culture is currently taking the forefront as a goal for many organizations striving to achieve better results – and even be overachievers, for that matter. Reasons include:

    • The clear realization that analytics is increasingly important for business success and client satisfaction
    • The leap of data analytics in recent years is undeniable and they shine through new self-service tools, easier integration of data sources, real-time reporting, interactive data visualizations 
    • More agility in analytics and data proficiency are making way through ambitious companies
    • Data is proved to transform organizations through data-driven insights

Giving in to the urge to make decisions based on intuition is just human nature. What we know now, however, is that this approach is not always the best – especially with data available at your fingertips. Among the benefits of implementing a data-driven culture within your company are:

    • Optimized business performance through prioritizing decisions based on data and not gut; this allows the pinpointing of any potential problems and cutting them at the root
    • Analysis & experimentation: any results you achieve through data-driven decisions are quickly and efficiently measurable
    • Easy cross-team and cross-department collaboration: data-driven culture makes everyone each other’s ally
    • Access from within and from outside the organization: data can be accessible for everyone with the right tools, driving transparency and trust
    • Beating competition: as we said, many companies still struggle with implementing a data-driven culture, so beating them to it takes you one step ahead in the market, with customers and trends

Data is set to become the path for change for many businesses and opening new doors to smart strategies ahead. It’s the path to a new kind of business excellence and helps organizations operate with the knowledge that opens new doors for success. And data, as a best practice, cannot be replaced with anything else when it comes to having the right insights for future investments. That is certainly no surprise – the market for the global business intelligence and analytics market is estimated at more than $30 billion and it is expected to reach $54.76 billion by 2026.

Data-Driven Culture: Why Do You Need It and How to Enable It

Advantages of a Data-Driven Culture

“Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.” 

– Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.

 According to BARC (The Business Application Research Council), building a data-driven culture was the third most important trend in BI for last year. The advantages of this approach lie in the feeling of certainty: data helps improve the outcomes and save money.

Here are some of the advantages of a data-driven culture listed by function.

    • Ability to launch new products and services with minimal risk – Data can tell every department what is the best way to go because it listens to the customers, builds a record, and improves based on that record
    • Ruling the market with confidence: Data provides you with insight into what your consumers want and helps you monitor the competition
    • Collaboration improvement: Making data collection a primary goal across departments gives everyone real-time information about needed changes and new opportunities.
    • Optimizing costs: By tracing the data of sales and expenses, patterns emerge that help with informed decisions about cost optimization
    • Ability to target the right audience: Customer data here provides a perfect understanding of potentially the best way to go when targeting; it narrows down the right decision
Data-Driven Culture: Why Do You Need It and How to Enable It

But probably the most important advantage of this approach is the direct linking of insight and action that every person in the organization can do, thanks to data.

The immediate ability to see the insight and in seconds take the action saves time and provides the company striving for a data-driven culture with much-needed structure. And though it seems like it may be a long-term game, some tools help create a quick and efficient path to a data-driven culture in a much shortened period.

Through them, departments build consistency, shared responsibility, and love for metrics, as well as intuitive analytical thinking and love for data. And it is exactly with data that companies learn how to stop leaping in the dark but transform the risk into knowledge. Rooting decisions in data is the shift that makes all the difference.

Building a Data-Driven Culture with Slingshot

Once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what it was like not to know it.

– Chip & Dan Heath, Authors of Made to Stick, Switch

Now let’s take a look at the platform that serves as a uniting tool for helping your company adopt a data-driven culture. Slingshot combines all necessary mechanisms to bring all components of such a culture seamlessly together. 

That includes project management, gathering information and having it all in one place, the ability to coordinate and collaborate with no disruptions, and effective strategy-making on the spot, through smart functionalities.

To understand better the way Slingshot makes data-driven culture more than simple for integrating across departments, take a look at the core problems it solves:

    • Jumping back and forth and getting lost between multiple apps
    • Desynchronization between team members due to missing transparency аnd project optimization
    • Losing sight of priorities, projects, tasks and getting overwhelmed in organizing in different places
    •  Inability to track digital assets quickly and efficiently and getting lost in the process

Slingshot has all the functionalities a data-driven team app needs to ensure smooth workflow. The well-integrated features that incorporate everything your team might need for a data-driven strategy allow for continuous synchronization. Integration with Office 365, Google Suite, and AI features helps users go from insights to action in a matter of seconds. You have all your projects with their goals, stages, and analytics at each stage in one place. And of course – data at the center.

Data-Driven Culture: Why Do You Need It and How to Enable It

Еxamples of Data-Driven Decision Making

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”

– Sherlock Holmes in “A study in Scarlet” by Arthur Conan Doyle

To understand better how Slingshot drives a data-driven culture in an organization, let’s take a look at some data-driven decision-making examples. Every business needs to look at the specific components of its processes and take them through the prism of data.

Through an all-in-one application, an organization can:

    • Analyze and understand data:  a business intelligence tool like Slingshot provides you with dashboards and analytics, and a chat platform for easy collaboration
    • From data to action: Slingshot has project management features and helps every team use data to plan their tasks and create actionable insights
    • Stay clear on objectives and goals: through Slingshot, every type of project or event is connected to the data in a meaningful way leading to actions
    • Have a good overview thanks to dashboards and staying on top of current data, digging deep into the KPIs, and tracking information
    • Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate. Slingshot allows for sharing tasks, files, and team workspaces with people within and outside the organization, letting them go from insights to collaboration in seconds
    • Unite all digital assets and eliminate the search: this function saves time and provides people with space to do what they are best at without constantly searching for files, sifting through emails, and looking for conversations in different apps.
    • Have discussions in context: Slingshot has chats for every task and all activity of your team is there, united and without a need to hunt or comb through different places.
    • Tracking key metrics: for data-driven apps, it’s crucial to have the option to connect right into your Marketo, Hubspot, or Salesforce data, see leads and opportunities and tie them back to the project’s needs

Companies with strong data-driven culture depend on anchoring their decisions in data at every level, from top to bottom. Through building a data-driven culture, organizations collaborate with fluidity and flow, have a transparent and working process, and have the luxury to make evidence-based actions, leading to progress and prosperity. And according to a study by Forrester Research, the data-driven business is on track to start earning $1.8 trillion by 2021. So trusting data means having all the freedom to trust your team, just as acting upon data helps with the strategic planning that brings solidified progress. 

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