21 Sep

How Adopting A Data-Driven Culture Can Transform Business Agility And Innovation

So, what needs to change in organisations that want to establish a data driven culture as part of their strategic and operational DNA?
Matt Wicks
min read

For many, the experiences of the last 12 months have proved a turning point in their ability - and willingness - to embark on software development and business intelligence projects that shorten the time to value of new applications and release the power of data.


Understanding the context to this major shift in business and technology strategy is key. Irrespective of where organisations were on their wider digital transformation journey last year, every team that switched to home working gained valuable experience in what it takes to embrace technology-led change.

For some, this deepening reliance on technology has become more than a temporary response to a crisis and as a result, change will be permanent. Take the likes of Fujitsu, Dropbox, Skillshare, Slack, Twitter and VMware among many others, who have each announced long-term plans to fully embrace a remote culture.

Against this backdrop, many ambitious businesses also set aside lengthy legacy approaches to innovation and change to deliver vital services and meet customer expectations in record time. The opportunity to focus on data strategy has helped drive new levels of insight and decision-making across everything from customer experience to product development.

For others, however, their ability to embrace data-led change remains at the mercy of decision-making processes that do little to support important processes such as an agile approach to software development. These organisations now risk long-term business and innovation interia, while others approach the future with a renewed sense of confidence in their ability to adapt to any challenge or opportunity by improving the way they gather, analyse and manage their data.

It’s all in the mindset

So, what needs to change in organisations that want to establish a data driven culture as part of their strategic and operational DNA?

The starting point must be mindset, because being data driven is not just about technology investment or even recruitment. Instead it’s about leadership determination to bring the collection, analysis and implementation of data-led insight out of its traditional silos to drive better decision making across every team.

For many organisations, particularly SMEs, building a data-driven culture will require the expertise and experience of a specialist partner. Whether organisations outsource their requirements to focus on data-driven software development projects or to improve the impact of business intelligence, the technology and process skills available via third parties are an affordable way to create a solid foundation for data excellence. Those who get the best results, however, also invest in the relationship by committing their knowledge, experience and insight to add value to data-driven projects.

In selecting a partner, organisations should be asking a range of important questions. First, what is their specific experience in delivering projects and strategies around areas such as data intelligence, architecture, AI, machine learning and bespoke data solutions? What is their level of technical competency across key applications such as Microsoft Power BI and also, what development processes do they follow to ensure customers benefit from their data sets in the way they need?

But perhaps most important of all, what do their existing customers say about their capabilities, their team and the impact of their work? Focusing on these considerations will help organisations to pursue data-led initiatives with confidence, and in the context of building an internal data-driven culture, the process of working with an experienced partner can prove invaluable.

In organisations across every industry and throughout the private and public sectors, delivering the insight that exists in data can have a transformational effect on business agility and innovation. Those organisations that act now to build their experience and expertise will be ideally placed to succeed in the post-pandemic economy.

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