Companies leveraging data management and analytics tools are far more likely to exceed business goals compared to companies that lack data-driven capabilities. But successful data initiatives are about more than technology adoption. Tectonic shifts driven by the global disruptions of 2020 are forcing even the most advanced organizations to take a closer look at employee adoption and attitudes toward their analytics initiatives.
Today, companies struggle to scale their analytics capabilities across teams; they struggle to encourage employees to collaborate and even evangelize analytics adoption within each organization. But a cultural transformation of this kind is essential—not only to accelerating analytics adoption but to increasing its efficacy and reducing risk as well. Cultural transformation can “accelerate the application of analytics, amplify its power, and steer companies away from risky outcomes,” as McKinsey describes.
Ultimately, every employee needs to embrace an analytics-centered data culture. As Deloitte shares in their July 2020 report, “Every single investment in data and analytics relies on the ability to forge a Data Culture… If there is no Data Culture, there will definitely be no return from the investments.”
Here we explore the pathways to making analytics not only more accessible and actionable but relevant to daily workflows. We will identify methods to make analytics more appealing to employees whose attitudes and approaches to work and collaboration have changed as well.
Business leaders agree—2020 has featured a broad acceleration of strategic, technology, and operational changes companies have actually prioritized for years. But despite each case of success, facilitating the cultural transformations necessary to scale analytics remains a challenge. This is critical, as crises have shown us that collaboration is essential for organization-wide responses.
Companies can evolve their approach to digital transformation to meet these requirements. But it requires a greater focus on transforming company culture, emphasizing collaboration, encouraging new employee habits, and adapting to environmental changes like remote work versus new technology investments alone.
Already, leading organizations are building stronger data cultures through data awareness, data literacy, and strategies to increase long-term analytics adoption among employees. This begins with a genuine analysis of company culture, followed by an alignment with the company’s end goal—facilitating company-wide employee acceptance and adoption of analytics.
Employees shape a company’s culture, no matter what “culture” executives attempt to prescribe. When we understand company culture as being an assortment of existing employee habits and expectations, we can visualize the real complexities of culture problems—namely, individual behaviors need to change on a grand scale for a successful data culture to take shape.
With this in mind, executives can impact company culture by helping employees adjust their habits to improve both individual and business outcomes. Here are four ways organizations can take important steps toward improving data culture within their organizations with these necessities in mind.
Your employees are your company’s culture—not your business leaders, nor your mission statement, nor your technology. As employees continue to adapt to semi-permanent remote work and grapple with the insecurities of the modern business world, they must also adjust to new strategic priorities and the digital tools they require. But the onus falls to business leaders to make those initiatives worth their while.
Crises strain the cultural bonds that bring employees together; but with the right leadership, they can also reaffirm trust and resilience among employees, as well as with organization leaders themselves.