5 Things That Are Holding You Back From Being A “Data Driven Organisation”

5 Things That Are Holding You Back From Being A “Data Driven Organisation”

What Makes A Data-Driven Organisation?

A data-driven organisation uses data to stay competitive and make better business decisions. Many businesses know that they should be data-driven, and indeed want to be, but struggle to implement data-driven approaches. 

Becoming a data-driven organisation can be difficult and require significant resources, but that doesn’t mean it should be written off as ‘too hard’. It is increasingly important for data to become efficient, secure and profitable for businesses who want to thrive in the digital world. 

In our experience there are five common pitfalls that prevent organisations from embracing a data driven approach – from a lack of commitment to poor data management practices. In this article we’ll explain the factors that hold businesses back and provide ways to help you overcome these obstacles.

5 Common Pitfalls When Trying To Build A Data-Driven Organisation

Here are 5 of the most common mistakes businesses make when trying to become or continue to be a data-driven organisation.

Lack of Clear Strategic Data Goals

Organisations need clear strategic objectives and goals (for data) that link to the broader business goals. Without them, it’s impossible to decide which metrics and data should be collected and used for decision-making. 

Companies should spend time defining their strategic aims first, then consider what data is required in order to make the most informed decisions that are aligned with these objectives.

Data is always flowing from multiple resources, but knowing which data is vital and how you’ll use it is essential to supporting overall business strategy.

Data and Accessibility Issues 

One of the most frequent obstacles businesses face in becoming data-driven is the accessibility and quality of data. Analysing data to make informed decisions requires a comprehensive set of data or data points, including details on customers, products and services, performance metrics, customer feedback, and other relevant metrics. 

Having access to this data and an ability to share it seamlessly and safely is essential to a data-driven approach, but it’s surprising how many businesses don’t have protocols on how to store, manage and use data. If you don’t properly store and organise collected data it can end up inaccessible for future analysis, so making sure data is secure, accessible and usable is a crucial step.

Siloed Teams and Lack of Information Sharing

Another reason that businesses fail to reach a data-driven state is siloed teams and a lack of information sharing. Too often organisations have departments that are working in isolation and not communicating with each other. Each part of a business will have a unique flow of data that can potentially add insight to other areas of the business.

However, often teams just keep data to themselves which limits their capabilities. This can happen for many reasons – most commonly it occurs when departments don’t interact enough or have a limited understanding of a divisional/departmental business strategy. 

These silos prevent data from being shared across the organisation and limit the ability to gain comprehensive insights from all your data sources. Effective collaboration between teams and strong leadership is key for becoming a more data-driven organisation.

Technical Complexity In Implementing Analytics Solutions

Becoming data-driven requires increasingly sophisticated and complex technology and infrastructure that use emerging solutions from AI and Advanced Analytics to optimise the data lifecycle. However, when evaluating and implementing these solutions, costs and complexity can restrain businesses from committing to data solutions.  This decision paralysis means that often businesses aren’t accessing the best tools and technology for their needs.

A solid set of data analysis tools will provide easy access to all of your valuable data and insights, but if it’s too technically complex for your teams to use, you’re possibly setting yourself up for failure. Evaluate the analytics solutions available and select one that aligns with your business and information architecture, technology stack and specific business objectives. 

Poor User Adoption of Data-Driven Tools and Processes

One of the reasons why many businesses are struggling to become data-driven is a lack of user adoption. Without team members using the analytics tools in place, organisations struggle to accurately collect, measure and interpret their data. 

To overcome this challenge, organisations need to ensure that users understand the value of using analytics tools and are equipped with regular training on how to use them effectively. There should also be incentives in place to ensure user participation and ensure that all stakeholders understand how data can benefit their organisation.

How to avoid these pitfalls and become a data-driven company

A data-driven company is able to collect, extract and obtain regular insights from structured and unstructured data to make business decisions. Cultivating this approach requires buy-in from executive, management and operational teams at all levels of an organisation.

Having the right skills across different teams is an essential part of becoming a data-driven organisation, and often businesses will require external expert help to kick start their data-driven approach.

Businesses must invest in data resources and personnel who can keep on top of the evolution to a business that utilises data. Creating a collaborative culture with seamless data sharing, is essential to ensure that data is maximised throughout the business.

The pitfalls we’ve discussed in this article tend to affect businesses who don’t have a strategy in place or are struggling to operationalise the business strategy. This leads to poor adoption of resources, silos between teams and a lack of leadership around how data should be leveraged.
If you’re looking for a partner who can support you in becoming a data-driven organisation, why not contact us to speak with an expert?