As businesses around the globe strive to make more effective use of data, analytics, and AI, the majority of them are still held back by a huge obstacle. There is a lack of culture that truly values data and analytics and it’s perhaps feasible to create a data-driven culture and accumulate the competitive benefits that result.

Companies that have adopted strong data-driven cultures generally get their critical decisions notified by data and analytics. While digital-native company, Amazon has a strong digital culture, there are still many traditional companies struggling to develop. This is due to a few undertake initiatives directly aimed at accomplishing the desired culture change. Therefore, it’s not surprising, as the 2019 Deloitte survey of U.S. executives showed, 63% of respondents were ambiguous that their companies were analytics-driven while 67% said they didn’t prefer accessing data from their tools or resources.

Role of CEO’s

The culture depends on the orientation of senior leaders, especially the CEO. There is almost no doubt that a CEO’s lack thereof in decision making and refining the business delivers a strong message to the rest of the organization. Nonetheless, a CEO’s lack of awareness doesn’t always mean that the organization can’t grow at all. Since CEOs are usually counseled on their leadership skills, they can also be shifted to the data domain via coaching – it can be either by an internal champion or an outside expert. We’ve already shared how CEOs could use data analytics for predictions and make decisions. Moreover, Connecting data and analytics to subjects the CEO already dote on such as employee empowerment can prove effective, as can targeting outside issues that are based on having a data-based decision making like regulatory requirements or the risk of more data-driven competitors.

While the CEO needs to become a perceptible champion of the new culture, They need an operational partner i.e. the chief data officer – the CDO is well-positioned for becoming the data and insight change agent.

Effective Culture Change Programs

Apart from trying to convert a reluctant CEO, there are three types of change programs that can take an organization in the right direction.

Educational Programs

Prudently planned educational programs should be pushed into the initial level of the organization. Experiential programs like design thinking exercises and group problem-solving have proven to be more effective than other approaches. Position-appropriate exercises for staff at every level can demonstrate the benefits of analytics and data-based decisions. Not only the education should focus on attitudes and knowledge about data, analytics, and AI, but also on the ability to find and manipulate data at every level, including senior management level.

According to a survey sponsored by the data analytics vendor ‘Splunk’ of 1,300 senior executives; while 81% of the executives say that data skills are needed to become a senior leader in their companies, 67% insisted they will not prefer accessing or using data themselves. 73% felt that data skills are difficult to learn than other business skills, and 53% were certain that they are too old to learn data skills. However, effective education initiatives can prove them wrong.

Leading by Example

Leading by example is essential. This requires presenting leaders who perceptibly use analytics and AI in their internal marketing programs in order to disseminate the value of the approach within an organization. Leaders’ exemplary behavior includes demonstrating the coveted attitude about data and analytics in meetings.

While only a few leaders can see the importance of marketing their use of data and analytics, companies are rapidly designating champions of AI. According to the 2018 Deloitte “State of Enterprise AI” survey, 45% of U.S. executive respondents said their company was employing senior management champions. So, establishing communities of practice around analytics and AI is yet another method to showcase positive instances.

Rewards

Promotions and rewards can also bring change. If those who make effective use of data and analytics get promoted faster or their salary increases, it will encourage others as well. Certainly, this approach needs leadership endorsement and execution by Human Resources.

Conclusion:

Today, every job needs an orientation toward technology, and with elementary tech-savvy, employees don’t only need to have the basic skill required in a rapidly changing competitive environment, but also the attitude to sustain a flourishing data and Predictive analytics culture for decision making. Cultural evolution takes a long time to develop, and culture is influenced eventually by every leader who becomes a part of an organization. Therefore, someone needs to monitor changes in the data/analytics orientation of the leadership team.

When it comes to establishing a data-driven culture, there’s no rest for a weary person. There were a number of organizations that mainly focused on data and analytics, however, when the CEO champion vamoosed, they went back to their old gut-based thinking and decision-making. Therefore, CEOs and AI leaders who believe in this focus must work to encourage others to adopt it.