Data Culture:
Your missing link to thriving in the data era

Organizations are investing trillions of dollars to become more data-driven, but only 8% successfully scale analytics to get value out of their data. What separates the top performers from the rest?

It takes more than just technology

Becoming truly data-driven requires changing mindsets, attitudes, and habits—embedding data into the identity of the organization. People have to want to use data and encourage others to do the same.

In the data era, leaders have a new calling

Only 8%

of companies achieve analytics at scale.

Success comes down to culture

In a Data Culture, people ask the hard questions and challenge ideas. They come together with a shared mission, to improve the organization and themselves with data. Leaders inspire through action, basing decisions on data, not intuition.

Data Cultures share five common elements

Trust

Leaders create a foundation of trust—in people and data

Trust is at the root of a strong Data Culture. Leaders trust their people, people trust the data, and people trust each other.

People who know the business are armed with data to make confident decisions. They are backed by the right data governance model that supports secure, widespread access. This creates a single source of truth that breaks down silos across teams to build high-trust, collaborative relationships. As a result, data insights aren’t limited to one single department. They are shared across the organization to find impactful solutions.

People build high-trust relationships with data

Teams encourage data access and transparency

Data governance instills confidence in data

Organizations set clear expectations for responsible data use

The BI team put a solid foundation of data governance in place first to make sure they got the most important metrics in everybody’s hands.

Commitment

People treat data as a strategic asset

Organizations with successful Data Cultures don’t just pay lip service to the importance of data and analytics. They fully commit to realizing the value of their data assets—not just storing and collecting data, but helping people use data to make better decisions.

This commitment is evident in all aspects of the organization—from organizational structure to day-to-day processes. There is an assigned executive that is accountable for the organization’s data use, ensuring that analytics projects tie back to critical business efforts.

Executives don't just sponsor data-driven behavior; they model it

The organizational structure reflects the value of data

Analytics goals influence data collection and processes

The CEO insisted that all board reporting had to happen in Tableau. Nine months later, we have touch screens in our boardroom and seven of ten business areas have their board reporting in Tableau.

Talent

Organizations prioritize data skills in recruiting, developing, and retaining talent

At the end of the day, a Data Culture is made up of data people. Even with the best technology and processes, if people don’t understand how to work with data, they can’t be data-driven.

Executives must prioritize data skills as part of talent strategy, including recruitment and training—clearly outlined in job descriptions and identified in the hiring process. Everyone in the organization should feel confident finding the right data, applying analytical concepts to their work, and communicating their findings.

Job descriptions clearly outline data skills for all roles

Teams tailor enablement programs to all roles and levels

Leaders encourage and reward data use

When we announced our training, we had over 120 responses in less than 72 hours. There’s a real appetite amongst current and new users alike to grow their Tableau skills and self-serve their own data needs, which greatly benefits the organization as a whole.

Sharing

People support each other and develop a sense of belonging

Most problems worth solving with data aren’t limited to a single team or line of business. They require data from multiple systems and collaboration across many teams. In a Data Culture, people have a shared purpose—using data to better the organization. Together, people amplify the impact they can have with data.

This spirit of sharing creates a contagious energy to “pay it forward,” developing a sense of community, displayed through meetups, messaging groups, and portals. These activities are then formalized into active internal communities around data and analytics.

People actively share best practices across the organization

Teams share data cross-functionally to support business objectives

Leaders create time and space for people to participate in communities

People want to see each other succeed. On the community page, people will ask Tableau questions, and you'll immediately see one of the other more experienced users answering.

Mindset

Data becomes a catalyst for organization-wide improvement

Developing a data-first mindset is just as important as developing data skills. In a Data Culture, people prioritize data over intuition, anecdotes, or rank. When this mindset is shared by everyone, it creates open discussion, where ideas lead to exploration and innovation.

Data is viewed as a source of personal growth and career development. People are curious and willing to challenge their own assumptions with data—and they’re open to being challenged by others. As all of these data-driven practices become habits, perceptions change, and people start to associate data with improvement, success, and growth.

People encourage experimentation and innovation

Organizations focus on outcomes, rather than vanity metrics

People feel comfortable challenging ideas with data

When we first started with Tableau, we were just thinking about dashboarding and reporting. We never thought Tableau would fundamentally change the DNA of the organization.