Modernization and data-driven culture – Part 2


Modernization is a term used to describe the necessary evolution of information technologies that organizations rely on to remain competitive in today’s constantly changing business world. New technologies – many designed to better leverage big data – challenge existing data infrastructures and business models. This forces enterprises to modernize their approach to data management and analytics.

laptop represents modern data-driven cultureThe oft-cited secret behind modernization success is a data-driven culture. But nowadays, asking if your organization is data-driven is analogous to asking if your house has indoor plumbing. Since answering no would cause people to question how you do your business, so to speak, everyone claims their organization is data-driven.

In part 1 of this series, I explained that decision-making often reveals how data-driven a corporate culture really is – and I remarked that many organizations don’t use data to drive decisions but instead use data to justify decisions after the fact. Part 2 concludes the series by describing how organizations with a true data-driven culture make decisions.

Data-driven decision making

An organization with a true data-driven culture uses data to drive fact-based planning, decisions, execution, management, measurement and learning. People throughout the organization believe data plays a critical role in the success of their job. Such organizations are ready to be swayed by new evidence and willing to execute on actionable business insights. It’s easy to say that we will go where data drives us. But the sign of a truly data-driven organization is what happens when data drives us to a destination that we’re uncomfortable with, when data calls into question long-standing beliefs or long-successful business practices.

Signs your organization may have this type of data-driven culture include:

  • Your organization is open to new ideas that challenge current practices.
  • Your organization uses analytics to guide strategy, including helping change the way you do business.
  • New technologies for data management (e.g., Hadoop) and analytics (e.g., graph) are at least being used in development and test environments.
  • New types of data sources (e.g., social media, events, IoT, clickstream) are at least being considered for inclusion in analytics.
  • Decision-making processes are designed with a feedback loop that collects data which can be used to track and evaluate a decision’s outcome – and help drive a better decision next time.

How modern and data-driven is your organization?

Please post a comment below to share your perspective and experience about how modernization is impacting your organization’s data management and analytics, as well as how data-driven your corporate culture really is.

Get some tips for data integration modernization from TDWI.


About Author

Jim Harris

Blogger-in-Chief at Obsessive-Compulsive Data Quality (OCDQ)

Jim Harris is a recognized data quality thought leader with 25 years of enterprise data management industry experience. Jim is an independent consultant, speaker, and freelance writer. Jim is the Blogger-in-Chief at Obsessive-Compulsive Data Quality, an independent blog offering a vendor-neutral perspective on data quality and its related disciplines, including data governance, master data management, and business intelligence.

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