Data Culture. The Trump Card.

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”

-Peter Drucker

To be clear he didn’t mean that strategy was not important. He meant that a strong culture was a surer route to organizational success.

You have undoubtedly heard a great deal about the increasing need for data analytics across the charitable sector. What we don’t hear as much is the need for a data driven culture. 

Just as data does not equal information, analytics does not equal culture.

Without the right culture, data can be overrun by several roadblocks…

  • Politics – when decisions are driven by personal strategy vs. business strategy
  • Hierarchy – when org chart positions outweigh facts
  • Squeaky Wheels – when the loudest looks like leadership
  • Habit – we have always done it this way
  • Fear of Change – what if it doesn’t work

What is a data driven culture? Quite simply, it describes a culture where data is at the heart of decision making. It can overcome the common obstacles. 

 

What are the traits of a data driven culture?

1. Right balance of gut and data.

“Data driven” can often lead to “data paralysis”. A healthy trait is knowing when to trust your gut, and when to insist on data. We use a simple risk:comfort level model to help you determine how to categorize your decisions. 

 

2. Hypothesis driven.

The right cultures don’t rely on data to do their thinking. Rather, thought processes guide hypotheses that guide the data. 

 

3. Driven by why.

Curiosity is underrated. The right cultures intuitively ask why, and why not? They are not bound by silos, and see the organization as an ecosystem. 

4. Data literacy.

You don’t have to be a team of analysts or number crunchers, but you do have to have a solid foundation in how to read, interpret and trust (and not trust) the numbers. 

 

5. Data democratization.

The right culture ensures that data is accessible and used by all. It is not kept with the analysts, shared only with the c-level, or provided on a need to know basis.

 

Any data strategy needs to include plans to ensure that data becomes an integral part of the culture as well. Ready to dive in? Great. Let’s do this. Contact us to learn more. 

Michelle Bell

Chief Marketing Officer

Michelle has over 18 years of experience in marketing and operations. She has worked in traditional brand management for global consumer packaged good brands. In addition, she has worked in marketing and business strategy for the public sector, including Canada 150 for the Royal Canadian Mint.

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