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Fostering success with a data-driven culture: The need to lead

Updated: Mar 25, 2022

While most companies recognize the benefits of data in their organizations, are they truly capturing the complete benefits of it? As humanity generates more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day with no signs of slowing down, organizations are looking for new data storage, verification and visualization solutions. In the same way that sheer volume is increasing, the complexity, variety and speed of data is also increasing, leading to only subject-matter experts being able to use the data to its fullest potential.

The companies that understand the importance of data and prioritize digital solutions will have more than simply access to the data. These companies recognize that success with digital adoption is contingent on culture. The entire organization must view data as integral to their daily decision making. In order for this to happen, a revolution must occur from isolated data usage to an organizational-wide embrace. Organizations must shift from intuition-based decision making to data-based decision making to implement a data-driven culture.

What is a data-driven culture?

The main aim of a data-driven culture is to position data at the centre of decision-making. It’s about empowering all employees with the data they need to promote collaboration, ensure data democratization, drive productivity and develop new products based on research.

Benefits of a data-driven culture

1. Productivity

MIT researchers found that companies who utilize data-driven decision making have output and productivity that is 5-6% higher.

2. Customer retention

According to McKinsey Global Institute, data-driven organizations are not only 23 times more likely to obtain new customers, but they’re also 6 times as likely to retain customers and 19 times more likely to be profitable.

3. Cut costs

BARC research surveyed a range of businesses and found that those using big data saw an 8 percent increase in profit and a 10 percent reduction in cost.

4. Competitive advantage

A global survey from Forbes Insights discovered that 64% of business leaders say that incorporating self-service business intelligence can generate a competitive advantage for a company and significantly enhance performance.

Despite the countless benefits of a data-driven culture, many organizations are struggling to bridge the gap between aspiration and cultivation. The 2019 Big Data and AI Executive Survey released by NewsVantage revealed that 72% of the survey participants - primarily C-level executives - said that their organizations had not created a data-driven organization.

What’s more, the study showed a decrease in the percentage of respondents that had “created a data-driven organization”, from 37.1% in 2017, to 31% in 2019.

These results are surprising as companies are investing in data more than ever before. A recent study showed that 64.8% of enterprises are investing more than $50 million in Big Data and AI initiatives in 2020, up from just 39.7% in 2018. So if the initiatives are there, why is cultural adoption not up to speed?

It starts with executive championship

At VEERUM, we meet with many organizations that want to become more data-driven, but they don’t know where to begin. Although any member of an organization can take steps to make their culture more data-driven, such as an HR manager using sentiment analysis, or a marketers basing their campaigns off of predictive analytics--we most often see success with a top-down approach. Reaping the full benefits of a data-driven culture requires the entire organization to shift their mindset. If your leaders don’t validate the importance of data, how can you expect the rest of the organization to change their ways?

According to VEERUM CEO, David Lod, “when executive leadership makes data a leading part of their business strategy; they allocate the budget, resources and time necessary for success.” He says that “business operations must be tied to innovation to ensure successful adoption after proof of concept and value.” Thus, senior-level commitment not only creates a culture that values data, but a McKinsey Global survey highlighted that senior-level involvement is the biggest contributor to analytics success. The survey noted that a top-down organizational approach is a critical factor in an organization’s ability to recruit data and analytics talent and to capture the full value from their efforts.

If you are still struggling to capitalize on the benefits of becoming more data-driven, here are two simple steps to securing executive championship:

1. Establish strong executive data literacy

It’s important that the individuals that are leading the transition have a solid foundation of data knowledge. Executives need to lead by example and understand the limitations, biases, reliability and validity of their organization’s data. Although platforms like VEERUM are easy to understand for non-subject matter experts, executives should be knowledgeable about the benefits of data visualization and understand how to use data effectively. In order to promote a more numerically-driven management, executives must identify data-driven KPIs and map out what success looks like in a data-driven culture. Without this profound understanding of data application and how to map out success for your employees, ill-advised strategies could be implemented and these strategies serve as the foundation for the entire data-driven culture.

2. Top-down communication is key

Even if data is top of mind for executives, many fail to accordingly communicate their data strategy. Leaders must commit to constantly articulating the importance of data and develop a strategy that promotes full adoption. When an executive seizes every instance of company communication as an opportunity to share data-driven gains in productivity, business performance or future insights, their investment in data is sure to trickle down throughout the organization. What’s more, executives can encourage management to monitor data initiatives and host frequent meetings to discuss data-driven wins.

With the responsibility of communicating the organization’s data culture, executives must also direct appropriate data governance. Executives must provide company-wide communication on data best practices, including security measures, verification, and storage. Organizations should seek out companies who value data security and are highly certified with SOC II compliance. Overall, data security must be a top priority, and these precedents are best set from strong leadership.

Prioritizing a data-driven culture at Jupiter Resources

An organization that has pushed for innovation and has taken the steps to create an executive-led data culture is Jupiter Resources.

From yielding some of the top 20 highest producing natural gas wells in Canada and managing assets spread over 350,000 net acres of land, they recognized the potential of data to make their operations safer and more efficient.

After introducing VEERUM’s Asset Visualization and Information Platform, Jupiter Resources EVP, Patrick Elliott stated that “team members could co-navigate a detailed 3D visualization of a site to quickly understand equipment, status and remote planning, resulting in countless saved hours of calls and driving to remote site locations for confirmations.”

As a result of having the support of an executive champion in the deployment of technology, Jupiter Resources “improved productivity, reduced costs and unnecessary field exposure.”

See for yourself the impact the use of data can have on your company’s performance. Sign up for a free demo today at


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