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Five Simple Ways to get your C-Suite on Board with Data

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Some think the phrase “data is the new oil” is already overhyped and overused.

But if it has shot so quickly to overuse then it’s probably something worthy of attention. Research shows that insights driven organisations will grow at least seven times faster than global GDP (Forrester, 2018) – so there should be no doubt about the power of data to improve business.

Just as oil prospectors recognised the huge opportunity that came from extracting, processing and harnessing a valuable resource, today’s most successful organisations understand the importance of creating an environment where everyone feels empowered to analyse data to find new insights. This kind of environment - what many refer to as a data-driven culture - is only successful when senior leadership has made data a priority for the entire company.


James Eiloart

James Eiloart, Senior Vice President, EMEA

But for many businesses today, this kind of culture is a major shift and requires change – change in technology, mindset and priorities. For anyone in business, particularly large companies, shifting the ethos and values of an entire company is incredibly difficult. In a survey by NewVantage Partners, just 40 percent of executives reported success in implementing a ‘data-driven’ culture, so there is clearly a significant barrier here. Amongst organisations struggling to make the transition to becoming data-driven, many cite difficulties in getting C-level support as a significant obstacle. According to research by Forrester Consulting, nearly 50 percent of data professionals expressed a belief that their C-level executives don’t fully support their organisation’s data and analytics strategies.

I’m fortunate in my job that I get to speak with countless customers from diverse geographies and industries. The consistent refrain I hear from them is that building a data-driven organisation is only successful when it’s clearly mandated by senior leadership. Securing buy-in at the C-suite and board level is critical. Without their support, changing an organisation’s culture in a sustainable and scalable way becomes an uphill battle.

So how do you do it? How does someone succeed in getting their C-suite involved with becoming a data-driven organisation?

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About the authors

James Eiloart

Senior Vice President EMEA, Tableau