Establishing a data-driven culture is a perennial challenge for organizations seeking to improve their performance management. In a 2018 APQC survey, members said it was their number one data and analytics challenge. Building a data-driven culture in your organization will require you to take the following steps:
1. SET THE STAGE FOR CHANGE
Preparing to shift toward a data-driven culture is largely a people-centric activity. The change leader must become a salesperson. And as with any sale, the salesperson’s job is to educate buyers about what the product is and how it will benefit them.
To prepare your organization for change:
• Conduct a current state assessment to create a baseline and add focus to the change effort
• Enlist senior leadership to legitimate and guide the change
• Build a compelling business case for change
2. ROLL OUT ANALYTICS CAPABILITIES
In previous research on change management, APQC found that the key components of managing or rolling out any change, especially one that encompasses an entire organization, are:
• Ensuring the change has the necessary resources (including analytics capabilities, right skills, and access to the data)
• Using an array of engagement tactics to generate buy-in and change behaviors
• Combining structured communications with quick wins to maintain momentum
In the case of data-driven decision making, this means establishing or using analytics capabilities within the organization.
3. MEASURE SUCCESS AND CULTURE CHANGE
Keep your emphasis on change objectives through targeted measures of success to help reach long-term goals such as a culture shift. This enables you to show value to the organization, keep stakeholders engaged, and make adjustments to the program as needed.
Understanding that you need measures and a cycle of structured review is easier said than done. Organizations commonly struggle with finding the right measures, and how to tie the outcomes of analytics projects to success measures.