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How To Build A Data-Driven Culture In Your Organization

Chris Chuwa
Author Chris Chuwa

Chief Data Officers can create an enabling environment for data monetization in their organizations by introducing and paying attention to the following important aspects. For organizations that have existed for more than 10 years, there is a higher chance that your brand is already established, trusted, and recognized by your consumers but you may not be fully involved in data monetization yet.

There is also the chance that you have highly tenured employees. Over the last 8 or so years, the world has become much digitally inclined. This has resulted in the obsoletion of many older organizations’ technology stacks as well as their processes which also left many employees feeling anxious or overwhelmed about the rapidly changing digital environment they find
themselves in.

Many organizations decided to deal with these changes and feelings of discontent by undertaking major digital transformations. They have invested in new processes, technology stacks, data warehouses, analytics tools, BI tools, information flows and so much more. These new changes should be ably put to use to drive more informed business decisions. We can no longer make decisions on the fly rather we must embrace making data-driven decisions if your organization wishes to succeed in a data-driven world.

Even for the many businesses that have already adapted, there is still so much that needs to be done if we are all to become truly data-driven. If your organization is yet to adapt, fear not! You are not alone and there is still enough time to begin work on the 4 major pillars of scaling your organization, the first being data maturity. Whether you are the chief data officer or someone who works in that department, you have the task of managing the organization’s data governance, data strategy, lifecycle management, policies, and securities. You are probably also in charge of ensuring that everyone in your organization can easily and appropriately gain access to your organization’s data asset. However, you should not stop at just this. You should also create value for your business from data, essentially, data monetization. If you do not leverage your data to create more value and give insights for decision making then it becomes useless. Now, you may be wondering exactly how you can effectively monetize your data as you do not have ownership of the monetization channels, product road maps, or even marketing.

Developing a solid and enveloping culture of data where all the decision-makers can access and use the data you have carefully worked on can be done by improving the data culture of an organization when you employ the four pillars of data culture as a guide.

Data maturity

The very foundation of your data culture should be a strong data maturity. Your level of data maturity is evidenced by the ease and appropriate level of access to data that each person in your organization has. Any organization that has filled the role of CDO appropriately has already taken the first step to have the right levels of data maturity.

Data literacy

The people in your organization who use data for decision-making need to be sufficiently literate in all things data related if they are to make the most use of it and derive value from using insight. If an organization has optimal data maturity and is data-driven in its operations, but they are not data literate, it would all go to waste. Ensure that data literacy is optimal throughout the organization by investing in data literacy promotion for every role in the organization. Each person should be equipped with data science skills.

Data-driven leadership

The culture of the organization depends on the kind of leadership in an organization. If the organization has a data-driven leader they will be more likely to support data-driven decision making. They would also hold team members accountable for their decision making to ensure they comply with their data-driven directives. Such a leader is aware of the benefits of having data as a strategic asset and ensures it is treated as a priority.

Data-driven decision-making processes

The last pillar you need for a data-driven culture is to have a structured process to guide both backward-looking reviews of decisions made in the past and forward-looking decision making. In addition to this, you also need to make data a core part of your organization’s decision- making process so you get the most value out of your data. This will go a long way as many organizations tend to skip having a systematic data-driven making process.


Making the decision to becoming a data-driven will take more than switching from how you make your decisions using intuition and instinct to using actual fact-based information. The CDO has to be well versed in the role data maturity plays in making an organization more data-driven. However, in order to be successful, the second, third, and fourth data cultural aspects should also be treated just as importantly.