Data Driven Decision Making
It’s the new rage and large enterprises are leveraging the power of the data they have been collecting and are employing all the Data Scientists they can get their hands on to harness the competitive advantage in this Digital Economy. With the war on talent being what it is, and the crunch on budgets and resources, getting into this game can seem like a bridge too far, but I am here to encourage you to just take the next right step in that direction.
Torch Solutioneers™ have been busy with a few such projects for our customers. Here are our 4 top tips for getting up and running with a data driven strategy that sticks.
Pick one problem and prove the value
It doesn’t have to be a big hairy problem, but pick one that really matters to the business and has a champion that will make the time to work on it. Build, test and refine the approach iteratively until you have come up with a good data structure and visualization solution that can be replicated for the rest of the business. Working in this agile way is not only replicable, but fast and provides results, quick wins, that can be bragged about quickly as part of the change management process later on.
Mind the GAP
Realise that the business asks the questions and IT has the data needed to answer them – but neither can answer the question independently. Getting business to understand what questions CAN be answered by the data IT is collecting will avoid frustration and confusion down the line once the solution is rolled out. Then spend the time on identifying and bridging this gap with the right data structure and visualisation tools.
Solve for skill, start within
Identify the talent in the organisation that’s asking good questions, and is curious about data and upskill them for this type of work. They may not necessarily be qualified enough to be data scientists, but this doesn’t exclude them from adding value as data analysts. Work on attracting data science skill into the organisation or building a partnership with a company that can provide these specialist skills on a need’s basis, it’s always great to have an expert on speed dial but not necessarily on pay-roll.
Building a data driven culture
Now you’re ready for scale… you’ve structured the data, bought the tools, hired in the skill and built dashboards but it’s all sandcastles on the shore without proper adoption. Spend time on the change management; communicating the value (again and again in different ways), build coalitions of support from key people, brag about the quick wins, run internal workshops that normalise working with data to inform decision making at every level of the business, and then do it all again. The old adage of culture eats strategy for breakfast will certainly ring true if you spend all the money on tooling the data strategy but have not spent sufficient time and energy on making data driven decisions a cultural norm within the organisation.
If you need a little bit of help, reach out to us for an hour or two (or an expert or two), we are here to help drive this competency into your organisation so you can harness the opportunities that go hand in hand with building digital business models.