Building A Data Culture
So far in this series on Business Intelligence, we’ve discussed the many ways such a solution can benefit your organization. While interactivity, visualization, data discovery, and performance metrics are undoubtedly crucial to honing in on heretofore elusive efficiencies, there is a key underlying component that needs to be in alignment in order to get your data strategy off the ground: Culture.
This series of posts will show how to go about building a culture capable of getting the most out of its data, making it the focal point of all decisions.
Create a Plan
It’s a bit cliché, but it’s also true: Nobody plans to fail, they only fail to plan. BI is no exception. You need to identify the critical path to success considering all aspects of the organization.
- Identify people or departments whose buy-in is necessary for success. Clearly the management team needs to see the value of the initiative or the whole plan is DOA. As the stewards of the business’s data, IT will also need to be involved, especially since they will be involved in support, maintenance, and security of whichever solution is selected. Finally, you need to pick a department as a proof of concept—ideally one with a high likelihood of a successful implementation.
- Select a good test case. Identify a handful of areas that naturally lend themselves to measurement and have a wealth of readily available data. Secure the buy-in of those that rely on the processes reflected in that data. Create a demo dashboard for them so they can SEE the utility and embrace the benefits.
- Start small and shoot for quick wins. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your data culture. Your demo dashboard should be limited in scope (less is more) and be very clear about the information it is conveying. Ideally you will be presenting key metrics about essential processes that are relatively time consuming for the department head to gather on their own. By providing them with an easy-to-access, readily available place to grab that data, you’re practically guaranteeing yourself a new disciple!
- Select a specific BI solution. There are many such solutions to choose from. These days Microsoft’s PowerBI and SalesForce’s Tableau are the two most common. Each solution has its pros and cons. We will make a head-to-head comparison of these two solutions in a future post.
With a solid plan in hand, you are ready to focus on the next steps, which we cover here Building a data culture Part II