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Data-Driven Cultures Start at the Top

https://hbr.org/2020/02/data-driven-cultures-start-at-the-top

hbr.org

Data-Driven Cultures Start at the Top
Executive Summary It's only when deep expertise exists at the top of the org charts that a penchant for evidence-based decision-making will develop pervasively throughout the organization. It's too common to devolve responsibility for analytics modeling to junior positions, which prevents analytical mindsets from really taking hold.

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Big Data

Big Data
  • There is an explosion of valuable digital data generated by consumers as we live our daily lives.
  • Advances in technology such as AI, Machine Learning and Cloud Computing provide numerous ways to leverage the data.
  • Apart from having Big Data, companies need to have an analytical mindset and culture, merging the best minds with technology.

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Data Governance by Top Executives

Like any other discipline, becoming good at analyzing data requires seasoning and experience. Executives with deep analytical expertise, sitting on the top of the organizational charts are responsible for spreading a culture of evidence-based, data-driven decision making.

This also ensures that data quality, data hygiene, implementation of data management and data privacy are respected and adhered to.

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Analytical Thinking Routines

The larger group of non-executives need to reinforce proper analytical techniques, and while not everyone can be an elite quantitative analyst, there is a certain basic level of proficiency that can be attained.

Employees need to be provided with project opportunities and made to attend training academies that provide the specific activities to be completed for increasing their analytical capability.

Organizations that invest in senior-level expertise and reinforce daily analytical activities will be able to take advantage of Big Data to expand and evolve in the future.

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The ABCDs of categorizing decisions

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Approaching big bet decisions

  • Appoint an executive sponsor to work with a project lead to frame important decisions for senior leaders to weigh in on;
  • Break things down (with decision meetings at each stage), and connect them up.
  • Focuses on debating the solution (instead of endlessly elaborating the problem) and gather the right people.
  • Move faster without losing commitment: get comfortable living with imperfect data and being clear about what “good enough” looks like.

Approaching cross-cutting decisions

  • Identify decisions that involve a cross-cutting group of leaders, and work with the stakeholders of each to agree on what the main steps in the process entail.
  • Work through a set of real-life scenarios to pressure-test the system in collaboration with the people who will be running the process.
  • Limit the number of decision-making bodies, and clarify for each its mandate, standing membership, roles etc.
  • Create shared objectives, metrics, and collaboration targets.

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