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Turning Data Literacy into a Data-driven Culture

It’s no secret that data is intrinsically important to virtually every company and plays a significant role in the way that modern business is conducted. However, what many businesses fail to understand is that it’s not just about gathering data but how you use it that counts.

At Astrato, we are obsessed with data. As one of the leading cloud-based data analytics providers, we champion live data and real-time insights that enable businesses to make smart, data-driven decisions.

In order for businesses to lead by example and speak from a position of authority, their decisions must be backed up by irrefutable data. This can only be possible if a company has a genuine data-driven culture throughout its organization. 

Over the course article, we will highlight what is a data-driven culture and explain how it differs from the concept of data literacy. Be sure to stick around to the end of the article, where we will also be offering advice on how you can turn a data-literate team into a data-driven team.

What is a data culture?

A data culture is best described as a type of organizational culture where data significantly influences decision-making. Data-cultured businesses have a collective set of behaviors and beliefs that emphasize using factual data to corroborate decision-making rather than relying simply on the gut instincts of senior management.

Data culture is a vital feature for any forward-thinking organization as it enables accurate data-led decisions to be made quickly. According to insight from QuantumBlack – the AI consulting arm of McKinsey, the data-driven enterprise looks set to be the way of the future for many businesses.

Unlike a hierarchy culture, where the person who gets paid the most makes the decisions, a data culture focuses on what the data shows in order to make a decision. While this might seem impersonal and perhaps even less democratic than a consensus culture, data cultures can help cut through bias (providing the data is also made without bias) and identify logical solutions that are right for the business. 

Data-driven cultures can also help settle divisive decisions that could fracture the organization’s morale. Decisions that use data to prove their reasoning are less likely to cause resentment or dissatisfaction among employees. 

For example, if a company is suffering losses and needs to reduce its staff members, an organization with a data culture will be able to look at its employees’ results and performance metrics to determine who is the person who offers the least amount of value to the business. Under a hierarchy culture, employees who aren’t considered friends or exceptionally close to senior management will often be the first to be let go, even if there are worse-performing employees within the organization.

What are the differences between data literacy and data culture?

Data literacy is often mistaken for data culture; while there are similarities between the two, there is also a considerable difference between them as well. 

Data literacy refers to the ability of an individual to comprehend and interpret data. Meanwhile, data culture is more focused on the organization as a whole, particularly the idea of using data to influence decision-making. 

It’s vital to remember that you can’t create a data culture without first having a data-literate workforce. A data-literate individual can translate data they see into workable business solutions. Meanwhile, having a data culture in place will allow data literates to realize their visions and use the power of data to make informed decisions and actions.

In addition, creating a data culture will allow your data-literate workforce to freely and confidently express their ideas and suggestions for the betterment of the business. Companies that employ a data-driven culture will naturally be more receptive to a junior employee identifying market gaps and are more likely to listen to their concerns and suggestions rather than ignoring them in favor of more senior-level staff. 

How to turn a data-literate team into a data-driven team?

Now that you’re both familiar with what a data culture is and how it differs from data literacy, the final thing to discuss is how to transform a data-literate team into a genuine data-driven team.

Fostering a data-driven culture takes considerable time, effort, and resources, and is not something that can be done overnight. However, if you stay the course and persevere through the long and winding road towards data culture, you’ll be rewarded with a visionary and high growth potential organization in the years to come.

One of the first steps to transforming data literacy into a data-driven culture is to train your team to go beyond simply analyzing and understanding data. As a data leader, you need to train your team to begin using the data they gather from analytics to help them make informed decisions, independently of your direction.

It’s important to remember, however, that an informed decision can only be made when the data used is of sufficient quality. Part of the process of creating a data-driven culture lies within the creation of a strong data strategy and the ability to critique any data, to ensure that it is ideal, and fit for purpose.

Once you have a sufficient data strategy in place and have given your data teams one of the best data analytics tools available, the next step is to expand data literacy beyond your data teams and into the wider organization. While this might take a considerable amount of time, it’s important to ensure that every employee in the business has some form of data literacy if you are to make a data-driven culture work.

Providing you can establish a near-complete level of data literacy throughout the company while maintaining data governance, the next step in your journey is to build a data-sharing culture and make the data accessible to the wider organization. 

Making certain data available and accessible by employees across all departments will increase the likelihood of employees understanding and agreeing with data-led decisions that might take place. In addition, ensuring that the majority of the company is at least somewhat data literate will also allow you to nullify the few dissenting voices of data skeptics that might rally against a decision that they don’t understand.

Creating a data-driven organization is not an easy task. Yet, if you can navigate the barriers and achieve all of the above, you’ll be well on your way to building a data-driven culture across your organization that will be the envy of your competitors. 

A data-driven culture needs data analytics

Behind every successful company that maintains a data-driven culture is the analysis software that makes it all possible. While using a data analytics solution cannot automatically create a data culture by itself, our intuitive and user-friendly data analytics platform can help your organization promote data literacy throughout your ranks.

So what are you waiting for? Try Astrato today and discover how our industry-leading cloud-based analytics solution can help your business achieve its goals. Click here to book a demo & learn more