10 Actionable Steps to Create a Data-Driven Culture

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Read more about author Rohail Abrahani.

By capitalizing on your data assets, do you want to acquire fruitful outcomes and actionable insights to make more informed and rational business decisions? To make your business a purely data-driven entity with a highly streamlined and targeted approach, you must embrace the change dictated by the valuable insights from the correct data analysis.

By doing so, you’ll be able to channel your efforts more efficiently by using data to get a broad perspective of a highly competitive and dynamic market, including customers’ behavior, preferences, and priorities. Marketing and sales practices fueled by data can significantly boost your ROI.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can create a data-driven culture to trigger a revolutionary chain reaction for your business by improving engagement, ROI, and brand image.

Let’s dive deep into each step.

Step 1: Creating a Data-Driven Roadmap

Your data is irrelevant if you fail to extract information, knowledge, and wisdom from it. You can have all the data available on the internet, including customer insights, their likelihood of conversion, or their dynamic preferences: Every single attribute will lack value until you use it in the right way.

To incorporate data into your conventional marketing and sales practices, you will need to set objectives and lay out a comprehensive roadmap for your data and its potential attributes for how it will transform your decision-making process.

Data is a tool, and you need to use it wisely to make better, more rational, and more informed decisions.

Step 2: Defining Roles

Who can access your data assets in your facility at the moment? Do you have skilled data analysts that ponder over it in the most appropriate way possible? Or does the sales or marketing team use this data to direct their decisions? Generally, anyone in the organization who deals with customers can gain access to data or its portion that sustains their functional needs.

For example, your marketing team must gain access to prospects’ conversion rate, the email click frequency, the average ROI of their particular campaign, etc. Similarly, your sales team must access sales-related data based on particular products or services. 

Every domain or department of your facility can leverage your data. The biggest mistake you can make is to give one domain of your company rich access to data while keeping other teams from this leverage. It is impossible to expect your team to remain on the same page and work in close synchronization with each other by creating such silos.

Step 3: Choosing the Correct Performance Metric

How do you measure or estimate performance accurately? What data do you need to inspect risks and estimate the success rate? Each department in your business has different requirements, so let’s look at the metrics breakdown as per the departmental needs.

Marketing Metrics

Data-centric marketing practices are one of the most beneficial use cases of data. You need to observe:

  • Lead generation funnel: prospects with a high potential to turn into customers
  • Viral outreach: comments, likes, followers, seen frequency, or shares on content
  • ROI against investment on each customer: the ratio between the revenue generated per customer vs. the expenditure it took to convert the customer
  • Conversion rate: the percentage of visitors or prospects who successfully turned into customers

If you go for a purely SEO approach to marketing, you will need to keep track of your SEO metrics, which may include:

  • Organic traffic
  • Organic conversions
  • Keyword rankings
  • Backlinks and domains
  • Quality of backlinks

Sales Metrics

Data-centric sales are closely driven by data-oriented marketing, but the metrics are completely different. Your sales team is expected to track:

  • KPIs accomplishment: The number of sales individuals who are consistently meeting their KPIs
  • SWOT analysis of sales funnels: The SWOT analysis includes strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats

Customer Success Metrics

The cruciality of remarkable customer success cannot be overseen. The perfect way to boost customer success is to incorporate a data-driven decision-making process into your existing practices. To achieve this goal, you need to keep a record of:

  • Number of conflicts reported and resolved daily
  • Time taken by each conflict to resolve
  • Customer satisfaction rate

Management Metrics

You can improve your overall management by significantly incorporating data-driven practices, as data-driven decision-making is vital for the management process. The following metrics can strengthen your organizations’ management practices:

  • Employee satisfaction: are your employees satisfied with their working environment or leadership?
  • Value addition per employee
  • Actual cost vs. the estimated cost of projects
  • RoI of each project or campaign

Step 4: Streamline Data Collection Process

Who is intended to supervise the collection of all the attributes as mentioned earlier or types of data? Mostly, each department is responsible for gathering all the relevant data. Once they provide this data to management, you will need to aggregate it into something more understandable, accessible, and usable.

Setting up a central repository for all the collected data is recommended. Data analysts within your company can ponder over this pool of data and provide understandable and easy-to-digest analytical reports and insights back to the supervisors of each department. Then the respective teams can turn the outcomes from these insights into fruitful actions, execute them in their domain, and share results on intradepartmental or interdepartmental levels.

Step 5: Use the Right Tools to Perform Data Analysis

An overwhelming portfolio of open-source and paid business intelligence tools, such as Power BI and Tableau, can let you extract the most out of your data. 

Using the right tools with interactive dashboards can turn your data into insightful and easy-to-understand graphical reports that make data accessible and understandable for even your non-technical team members. 

Step 6: Train Your Staff

To make the best use of available data, you need to train and educate your employees with the right and required data-related skills and knowledge.

Data Science has become an important field, and many entry-level to expert-level certification courses are available for employee training. Invest in educating your employees with the proper knowledge. Every employee who deals with customers should better understand data and its use cases to channel their efforts effectively.

Step 7: Recruit Data Science Experts

It is recommended to recruit Data Science experts if you have enough budget. Hiring qualified consultants means importing the right culture and skillset to help you streamline and simplify your approach to data collection. It will, in turn, let you educate your non-data-savvy employees, amend all the conventional aspects of your business, and build a sustainable and futuristic model to operate your business more efficiently.

For example, data analysts can help you choose the most valuable metrics for your company or department. They can help you develop methodologies for data-driven decision-making and ensure that your decision is based on proper logic and reasoning. 

Step 8: Keep Your Data Fresh and Updated

Once you have the correct data, what will be the next step? Data is only helpful if it’s fresh and updated. There are several highly dynamic attributes or types of data like customer behavior, their response to different marketing campaigns, and economic conditions like inflation or purchase parity. If you do not include new data in your repository, it means you are potentially looking at outdated data and a fake reality. 

You should keep on collecting more and more relevant, new data. You can get fruitful insights only from updated data.

Step 9: Applaud Your Team

A data-driven strategy, being a new and emerging field, is a challenge for most businesses, especially small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Modern digital technologies and the innovation of intelligent software tools make it easier than ever to gather and analyze data. Yet, data-driven decision-making might be a new way to function for most employees.  

Holding your team members answerable for their use of data brings a remarkable change in organizational culture. On the other hand, as a part of intrinsic motivation, you can reward and applaud your employees who make data-driven decisions.

Step 10: Knowledge Sharing

To get more out of available data, data scientists must make decisions by approaching data from different perspectives. It is crucial to ask the team how they approached a conflict, analyzed it, and decided on the resolution. It gives your data team a deeper understanding of the data.


Data Science is more than just methodologies, machine learning, AI, and relevant tools. To make your organization adapt to this newly emerging field, you need to make necessary amendments to the existing ecosystem of your business and make it ready to embrace a data-driven culture. Your team’s aligned objectives, mindsets, and approach to Data Science will undoubtedly open new opportunity corridors for your business to touch new summits like never before.

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