Making Data part of our organisation’s DNA

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Recently, I had the pleasure of co-facilitating a discussion around the obstacles faced by data professionals when it comes to collaborating with other teams in a data context at the Chief Data, Analytics Officers & Influencers (CDAOI) event in London, a popular industry event attended by over 200 senior decision makers from across Europe.

This particular topic is one that’s close to my heart, because at Mango we’ve made it our mission to empower organisations to make informed decisions using data science and advanced analytics to drive bigger gains, lower costs, and maximise performance. And absolutely key to this is enabling the fundamental culture-shift needed to realise the potential of the insights that data can generate.

What made the discussion even more interesting is the impact that data-driven digital transformation is having on the role of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) and Chief Analytics Officer (CAO). Historically the roles have always focused on data collection, storage and management. But, as businesses increasingly embrace a data-centric culture, the C-Suite is making space for CDOs and CAOs who have the leadership and creative skills to foster collaboration across skills and teams, helping to embed a data culture into the heart of a business.

Feeding into the CDAOI event’s mission to champion practical strategies for aligning analytics projects with corporate objectives and embed a business-wide data culture, as well as discussing barriers experienced by data professionals, we also debated solutions to overcome these in the quest to find common ground and promote better understanding and collaboration.

Here are a few of the highlights from our discussion:

  • There is a fair amount of box-ticking going on. i.e. everyone has a big data project or tool, so I will get one too. Culturally this is dangerous, as it has the potential to isolate the very people you want to include in the digital transformation process.
  • We’re training our team to not refer to ‘data’ per se, but rather talk about ‘business problems’. Framing the conversation in a more colloquial way that is more relatable creates more opportunity to introduce data as a way to collectively help address business challenges.
  • Many organisations don’t seem to consider the need to allocate budget to drive a culture change. The desire for change is there, but they seem reluctant to invest in the kind of education and awareness that’s needed to shift the organisation’s cultural needle towards data-driven digital transformation.
  • Change must not be too scary. Step-by-step, making the change fit for purpose, constantly championed by the C-suite, will result in success.”

According to a recent survey undertaken by EY and Nimbus Ninety, 81% of senior executives interviewed agreed that data should be at the heart of all decision-making, but just 31% had actually taken the step to restructure their organization to achieve this. That leaves a huge majority of organisations who recognize the potential of data but have yet to find a way to embed a data driven culture within their business.

If you would like to find out more about how to embed a data-driven culture in your business, chat to us. We’ll work with you through each aspect of achieving your data science capability.