Putting data analytics at the heart of an organisation is the first step to implementing a data-driven culture and becoming a data-centric company.

Organisations that want to implement a data-driven culture to make better data-driven decisions must first develop a data strategy and a data analytics strategy, as well as an operating model capable of devising data-driven business decisions and opportunities. According to Gartner, by 2025, companies that establish data-driven value creation flows will significantly outperform other companies in cross-functional collaboration and value generation.

Putting data analytics at the heart of the organisation requires optimising the company's decision-making processes and analytics ecosystem, establishing a clear connection between data analytics and business value creation. In other words, companies must stop treating data analytics as a secondary element to support their business initiatives and actions.

However, putting data analytics at the heart of the organisation can be challenging in practice. A data-driven enterprise grounds strategy and operations in an agreed value proposition, with a vision that links data analytics to the organisation's value proposition.


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How to put data analytics at the heart of the company?

Putting data analytics at the heart of an organisation means placing data analytics and the processes involved as a fundamental and strategic element in all business operations and decisions. Rather than viewing data analytics as an isolated or secondary function, it is given a central role in decision-making and in driving business initiatives.

By adopting this perspective, the organisation recognises the critical importance of data as a resource and seeks to integrate data analytics across all levels and departments. This involves using data to inform and support decisions, as well as to identify opportunities for improvement, efficiency and growth in all areas of the business.

Putting data analytics at the centre also involves creating a data-driven organisational culture, where decision making is based on evidence and analysis rather than relying solely on intuition or past experience. Furthermore, it involves ensuring that the resources and technology needed to conduct effective data analytics are available and accessible to everyone in the organisation. In short, putting data analytics at the centre means recognising its strategic value and its ability to drive the organisation's overall performance and success.

What does being data-centric mean?

A data-centric enterprise is a company that puts data analytics at the core of its organisational culture, operations and decision-making. In this type of organisation, data is considered a key strategic asset that drives innovation, efficiency and overall performance.

The main characteristics of a data-centric company

  1. Data-driven decision making:

    • Data-driven decision making involves using factual and objective information to support the decision-making process. Rather than relying solely on intuition, experience or subjective opinion, data-driven decisions rely on the analysis of relevant data and the interpretation of patterns and trends.
  2. Data-driven culture:

    • Data as an asset: The organisational culture reflects the belief that data is a strategic asset vital to the success of the business.
    • Ongoing advocacy: Active promotion of the importance of data is manifested through awareness, training and recognition initiatives that foster widespread appreciation and understanding of its value.
  3. Data integration:

    • Transversal data flow: Data integration is not limited to specific areas; instead, there is a continuous flow of data that crosses all departments and processes, allowing for a holistic view of organisational information.
    • Efficient interconnection: Systems and processes are efficiently interconnected, ensuring that information flows seamlessly and is available to those who need it at any time.
  4. Robust technological infrastructure:

    • Scalability: The technology infrastructure is capable of handling massive volumes of data in an efficient and scalable manner, ensuring that the business is prepared for growth and evolving data demands.
    • Advanced tools: State-of-the-art tools and technologies are employed to facilitate advanced data collection, storage and analysis.
  5. Accessibility and quality of data::

    • Universal access: All employees have quick and easy access to data relevant to their roles, removing barriers and fostering a collaborative environment.
    • Rigorous data management: Rigorous practices and standards are implemented to ensure the quality and integrity of data, preventing errors and ensuring confidence in information.
  6. Focus on innovation:

    • Proactive opportunity detection: The company proactively uses data to identify trends, patterns and opportunities that drive innovation in products, services and processes.
    • Continuous iteration: Ongoing data analysis enables continuous iteration, improving products and services in response to market feedback and changing business conditions.
  7. Adaptability to change:

    • Responsiveness: The company adopts an agile mindset and adapts quickly to changes in the business environment, using real-time data to inform strategic decisions.
    • Constant monitoring: Constant monitoring of the business environment and internal performance enables agile adjustments based on up-to-date data.
  8. Data-driven performance management:

    • Measurable objectives: Objectives and targets are defined with specific metrics and KPIs derived from data analysis, providing a clear way to measure and evaluate performance.
    • Continuous feedback: Performance management is based on continuous feedback and dynamic adjustments supported by data to constantly improve results.
  9. Security and compliance:

    • Comprehensive protection: The company implements comprehensive security measures to protect the confidentiality and integrity of data, ensuring that sensitive information is safeguarded.
    • Regulatory compliance: Practices and processes are established to comply with regulations and standards related to privacy and data management, avoiding legal and reputational risks.
  10. Cultural change:

    • Organisational commitment: The transformation to a data-centric enterprise involves organisational commitment from top management down to rank-and-file employees, actively supporting cultural change.
    • Continuous education: Continuous education on the importance of data is encouraged, promoting cultural adaptation and internalisation of data-driven practices throughout the organisation.

How to put data analytics at the heart of the organisation to be data-centric?

To transform a company into a data-centric organisation, where data analysis is central to all operations and decisions, requires a holistic and strategic approach. Here I provide a more detailed description of each of the steps:


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Download our free guide and build a corporate data strategy by following our step-by-step guide.

  1. Define a data strategy: Developing a clear strategy involves identifying how data can contribute to business objectives. This could include identifying key data sources, defining relevant KPIs and planning specific analytics initiatives.

  2. Data-driven culture: Fostering a data-driven culture involves promoting the importance of analytics in decision-making. Curiosity and the desire to understand and use data should be encouraged at all levels of the organisation.

  3. Engaged leadership: Engaged leadership is essential to support and drive transformation. Leaders must demonstrate the strategic importance of data and set an example by adopting data-driven practices.

  4. Cross-functional integration: Integrating data analytics across all departments means incorporating data experts in multidisciplinary teams. This ensures that data analytics is present at all stages of business processes.

  5. Infrastructure and technology: Implementing a robust technology infrastructure is crucial. This includes efficient databases, appropriate analytics tools and systems that facilitate effective data collection, storage and processing.

  6. Data accessibility: Facilitating access to data involves designing systems that allow employees to easily find and use information relevant to their roles. In addition, the quality and consistency of data must be ensured.

  7. Collaboration and communication: Fostering collaboration means creating an environment where teams share information and knowledge derived from data analysis. Effective communication is key to ensuring that insights are understood and used throughout the organisation.

  8. Measuring results: Establishing metrics to evaluate the impact of data analytics initiatives helps to quantify success and make adjustments as needed. This can include indicators related to operational efficiency, informed decision-making and overall performance.

  9. Change management: The transformation to a data-centric culture must be carefully managed. A gradual approach with effective change management helps minimise resistance and ensure successful adoption.

  10. Security and compliance: Implementing robust security measures is essential to protect data. In addition, complying with regulations and standards related to data management ensures the integrity and privacy of information.

These are the basic steps for an organisation to start putting data analytics at the heart of business processes, operations and decisions. However, beyond these basic guidelines, becoming a data-centric company is not an easy or immediate process. Rather, it is a perspective that gradually cements the change.

Posted by Núria Emilio