#7 Let’s create a culture change plan

This blog is one of an eight-part series of blogs – read our introduction to see how this blog fits into the series.

Right, so you’ve done the hard part – you have created a data strategy and a pragmatic implementation plan to set the business up for success. But technology is just the start…the people, and your business culture will determine whether your project is successful or not. And culture change is notoriously difficult and takes far more time than we’d expect. So, how can we fast-track your transformation to create a data-driven culture across your business?

What does a great Data-Driven Culture look like?

Sometimes you only know what a great data-driven culture looks like, when you’ve worked within a business without a data-driven culture. But let’s try to make it tangible for you. A great data-driven culture has these behaviours across all staff:

  • Decisions are informed by data…rather than made using gut feel or based on whoever shouts the loudest
  • Assumptions and hypotheses are tested…rather than assuming that a fact is correct because it’s often repeated
  • Targets are created…then actual performance is compared to the targets
  • Performance is monitored and tracked…then adapted depending on the metrics
  • Data is viewed at all levels across the business…from the Board to the individual team members

Of course, sometimes the data is incorrect, or misleading. So, a great data-driven culture balances the data with a constructive challenge of the data’s assumptions, applied business logic, and underlying data sources.

Start with your team’s hearts, before their minds. Inspire them. Excite them. Show them why data will enable them to do their jobs quicker, better, and easier than ever before. 

We always start with a business-wide update to share the headlines of the data strategy, particularly focusing on the art of the possible, and all the exciting things that could be achieved in future. By painting a vivid picture of the business vision and the end goal, we can sell the benefits at a business level. We then follow this up with team-by-team sessions to talk about the potential opportunities for data within each department – for instance, Finance, Sales, Marketing, and the rest. These smaller sessions enable us to make data more real for each team, by giving specific examples and potential benefits for them in their roles. It also provides a great opportunity to ask for feedback and to answer questions.

How do we train the team?

The data strategy could involve bringing in both new tools, new processes, new internal analytics, and new client-facing reports. All these new areas will need to be briefed to each team, and then training provided. Rather than leaving this to the end, we’re big fans of engaging the teams upfront to ask them for their input into the business requirements. This ensures we get their buy-in and support early so they’re part of the process, and it doesn’t feel like it’s done to them.

Our training approach usually involves three tiers:

  1. Introductory overviews – these are often short ½ hour sessions to showcase the main features of the tools/processes, designed for management or infrequent data users
  2. User training – these are often ½ day sessions to train the regular users in how to use the tool/process
  3. Super-user training – these are often 1-day sessions to train the selected super-users in all the extra features and functionality

Even with the best training, any team will need support on an ongoing basis. Plus, there will be new starters who will need to be trained in future.

The types of support required often falls into two camps:

  1. On-demand support – whenever the team struggles with something, or a tool doesn’t work as expected, or something breaks, they need to know who to call to ask for help
  2. Development projects – there are likely to be further phases of work to expand and evolve the data solution. For instance, adding new data sources, or creating new reports. The team are likely to need extra help during these development projects.

We find it’s best to plan for support in advance, so the team feel confident they can deliver the work required, no matter what.

Well done! – You’ve now completed the Discovery & Design programme

We hope you have a clearer view on how to create a data strategy, and then turn that into an implementation plan, that enables the business to achieve its vision. If you need a re-cap of any of the steps along the way, check out our introductory blog.

Well, you’re in the right place. We can run the Discovery & Design programme for your business. The benefits of outsourcing to us are:

  1. OBJECTIVITY – we bring a fresh pair of eyes to your business and we’re unhindered by office politics, historical decisions, and legacy systems
  2. INDEPENDENCE – we’re technology-agnostic, so we can give you an independent view, with no vested interest in you selecting, or staying with, a certain vendor, tool, or platform
  3. AWARD-WINNING DATA CONSULTANTS – we’ve done this before…for 75+ projects and for 50+ businesses, so we can bring our wider experience to the mix

When we run a Discovery & Design programme for one of our clients, it typically takes 4 weeks, depending on the scope of the project. Most businesses want results quickly and simply…so that’s what we do – we worry about the complexity, so you don’t have to.

Find out more at https://datacubed.nz/services/.