5 Uncomfortable Questions That Will Improve Enterprise Data Culture


Tech leaders must identify the gaps in their data strategy in order to actively create a data culture that supports decision-making based on insights.

The journey to actionable analytics resembles a night time gravel road, but the destination is a data utopia, where users can instantly turn data into insights and make better business decisions when they need to.

Insight-driven businesses (IDBs), which benefit from this utopia, are built differently. According to Forrester data, advanced IDBs are eight times more likely than novice businesses to report revenue growth of 20% or more. However, from 2019 to 2021, only 7% of companies globally were categorized as advanced IDBs.

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Despite having a specific objective in mind, CIOs frequently struggle to move their organizations from beginner to advanced IDB status. The obstacle in changing an organization’s data culture is people and culture issues, despite the value of enterprise collaboration software.

At advanced-level and intermediate-level IDBs, the vast majority of senior analytics decision-makers make investments in a culture that equips staff with the knowledge and resources necessary to apply insights pertinent to their line of business.

To transform data cultures, CIOs should think ‘future fit’

Many CIOs fall into the trap of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome as they work to change their data cultures.

Since technology is the medium in which CIOs are most at ease, they use it to address every problem. However, they can avoid taking this path by embracing discomfort and looking beyond technologically focused solutions to develop resilient, inventive, and adaptable data cultures.

Employees must be encouraged to adopt a growth mind-set, and leadership must support adult learning behaviors for future-fit organizations to succeed.

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Before launching enterprise-wide data literacy trainings, this must be completed. However, given the scope of data culture and data strategy, it can be challenging to find a natural starting point for a transformation discussion.

Get comfortable asking uncomfortable questions

Most teams led by technology executives develop self-service solutions. To assist employees from other departments in using those self-service solutions to hasten and inform business decisions, CIOs are motivated to change the enterprise data culture.

Consider the uncomfortable yet rational questions when evaluating the data culture, communications, and internal content strategy.

  1. Do all staff members know where to look for available information? Consider datacoms and business intelligence content management in this context.
  2. Do all employees know where to go to get questions answered, assistance with information already available, or new information requests? Consider communications, internal customer service, and business operations.
  3. Do all employees know where to go to get information on how to use platforms, communicate with partners, or “speak” information?

Consider learning management, data literacy education, and datacoms in this context.

  1. Are all employees comfortable interacting with others on a psychological level? Consider the efforts in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
  2. Do all employees feel at ease sharing information across internal organizational silos? Think about enterprise collaboration, connected intelligence, data observability, data governance, and trust.

The answers to these five uncomfortable questions are challenging. Tech executives can use this process to determine where to dig deeper in order to create a data culture that is ready for the future, as there will always be hesitation in one area or another.

Expect curiosity velocity to impact future-fit data cultures

The speed at which a user (or employee) can move from knowledge seeker to insight acquirer to action taker is known as curiosity velocity. All five questions share the theme of time. Employees can’t be flexible, inventive, or resilient unless they have the time to do so. With workloads at an all-time high and time at a premium, it is critical to remove potential roadblocks, which may include:

  • Creating new versions of existing goods
  • Getting answers instantly from online documentation as opposed to waiting for a manager’s response
  • Based on out-of-date ideas about user privileges, hoarding information rather than sharing it.

The opportunity and trend for transformation today is the power of choice. Because of the market’s extreme volatility, organizations were able to respond to disruptions in the past in a predictable way that is no longer possible.

In order to design an enterprise that is prepared for the future, businesses must accelerate their drive for growth in the upcoming phase. The pandemic has also brought attention to the necessity of acceleration in this world that is cloud- and digital-driven.

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