You Want To Become a Data-led Organisation…How do you get there?

What is a Data-led Organisation?

An organisation that uses data to drive their decision-making process.  Before making a decision, they analyse relevant data and let the conclusions drive the decision.

Trust in the data is paramount if your decision-making is being driven by the conclusions of the analysis of your data.

How do you get to this level of data-led panacea?

You want your insights from the data to be easily shared across the business, with employees able to analyse and learn from the data they have available to them.

Your data-led strategy needs to be aligned to the business priorities, whether that is efficiency savings, performance improvement or improve customer satisfaction. The goals and direction of the business must be widely communicated and known by employees at all levels.

My 4 steps to achieving this are:

  1. Current Situation
  2. Goals
  3. People / Process / Technology
  4. Change Culture
  1. Current situation

Before you can move forward, you need to understand where you are now.

What data do you have?

Is it accessible?

Before you can move forward, you need to understand where you are now.

What data do you have?

Is it accessible?

Where is the data?

What is the data lineage?

How is it used?

Is the data measured or monitored for key qualities such as – whatever is appropriate for your organisation:

  • Accuracy
  • Consistency
  • Fit for use
  • Completeness

Who owns the data?

What security do you have around your data?

Are you ready for GDPR – sorry could not resist adding this one 😊

What happens when the data is identified as wrong – how would you know it is wrong?

  • Who should be notified?
  • What is the process?
  • How long should the correction process take?
  • Impacts if it takes longer?
  • Impact if nothing is done to correct the data?

Can you publish metrics to show improvement in process time or accuracy of data?

Cost to the organisation of where you are now vs where you want to be i.e. Cost of correcting data vs benefit from clean data.


  1. Goals – Start Small

Be specific about the business problems and opportunities you need to address.

My warning is: don’t try to boil the ocean – A well know data management phrase.

Start small with a project that can prove to the business that what you want to achieve is possible.  Communicate your plans, what you expect to achieve, how and whom this will benefit and the successful results and/or changes that are needed to make your initiative successful.


What data do you need that you do not have or have access to?

One way to prompt broader thinking about potential data that could be sourced/used is to ask, “What decisions could we make if we had all the information we need?”

How can this data be obtained – Internally, purchased from outside sources?

A Data Maturity Curve

A maturity curve is a good way to identify at what level you are at now and where you want to be. Visually it is a great tool to communicate to the wider organisation your plan and progress.

Start with your current situation and offering at level one. Determine where you want to be, either short or long term.

Data Maturity Curve

Define the levels 3-5 levels – a good measure.  More levels would make the process too complicated and long, with the potential of losing your audiences / stakeholders interest and engagement.

Once you have defined your levels, what is it that will get you to the next level, for example:

What is the offering you want to deliver at level 2, what needs to be completed to get you to the next level?

Who needs to be involved – how do you get them onboard?

What will the next level provide to your internal and external customers?

How will you promote this new offering?

Once you have this, it forms the basis of your roadmap/plan of where you want to go and high-level steps for getting you there.


  1. People / Process / Technology

I did not give this step a cute name as People / Process / Technology sums up what is needed here and it is familiar to most if not all.

Who is involved, who else needs to be involved/engaged to achieve your desired results?

Without People you will not be successful, bring them along on the journey, don’t “drag” them – it will not be successful.

It is your people you need on-board to make the Processes successful and adopted as standard operating procedures – Your staff are well placed to write the improved procedures and what better way to get them engaged and accepting of the change.

Think Robotics – what processes can be automated? Achieve an even bigger win with your staff, if you have a dull repetitious process that can be removed from their day to day activities.

Lastly Technology give serious thought to what technology you need to achieve the success. There are so many options out there with proven case studies and references from companies that use them.  I will not recommend any as each organisation’s needs vary. Build a team who will rigorously put several potential technology suppliers through their paces.

Technology Objective Suggestion: How can we provide controlled, self-service options for all employees to access data they need when they need it.


  1. Culture Change

The shortest step in my process documentation but the most important.  Bring the business along on your journey.  They are more important to your success than you can ever imagine.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: