It is starting small that is the secret sauce according to the experts. Once you have figured out what you want to achieve, how to get the data fit for purpose to achieve an outcome, you start to understand the value of the data when you need it. Digitally transforming is the result of embracing a digital culture. And that starts with the leadership and an attitude of a growth mindset within a business.
One of the primary reasons data initiatives fail is because the executive suite does not fully understand what this all means. Immense effort is made to communicate that the business is embracing a digital culture – the marketing and PR teams get to work putting together the mails, blogs, and internal groups – However, because there was no strategic goal, or objective to solve a primary business challenge using the data, that these initiatives fail or fall short of the parade and fireworks type result. It is more like a pop from a solitary damp roman candle in the field of failed projects. What is the ultimate goal, and how can one incubate a data culture and embed this into the modern business?
A data culture is created over time. It is a process of educating yourself as the leader of a business and educating the people who work for you. It’s educating and informing the logistics teams on how to interpret the data, and how to take of advantage of the insights it yields from the analysts’ office to save those precious few minutes or to automate goods received note processes.
A data culture encourages everyone to ask questions of the data – to offer their insights. Someone analysing the flow of goods in a warehouse via dashboard in the executive, may make a decision which makes no sense to the folks in the actual warehouse. You need to break down those silo walls and integrate all your businesses data so that it is easily accessible and create an environment where we can collaborate with data, ask questions, and foster accountability, transparency and innovation.
This all sounds great in words and theory, but the reality we all know, is severely more complicated in execution. We live in a brave new world, where we are creating and building the digital future every day. We are also dealing with tremendous change and the implications of COVID-19 – both emotionally and psychologically. Companies and people are under strain and resilience has become a pre-requisite.
This does not make the task easier for leaders at all to plot a path to ensure the success of the business. However, starting small with a department in a division and making that work is a start. I have read the experts advise once success is achieved, one should step back and re-evaluate the success and then carry those lessons and perspectives to the rest of the business. Which makes total sense after all.
A data culture is a buzz phrase these days, one that like many others, points to the current technological zeitgeist where we find ourselves on the curve of Moor’s Law of technological and computational advancement. The dichotomy of this upward spiral is that with all the wonder this brings for society and business, is that those who fail to plant the seeds of a digital and data culture now within their philosophy of their business, are doomed to fail in the next couple of years versus those that have taken it seriously.
The future is now. We have the data. Let’s make it happen.