February 16th 2022

Becoming a Data Driven Organisation

The development and use of digital technologies in recent years has led to a growth in the volumes of data that is being collected, stored, and shared within organisations. Data now influences every part of our lives from recommendations to new TV shows or which adverts or friends we see content from first on social media.

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The value of data as an asset is appreciated across many business sectors but it is only just starting to become a conscious thought with publicly delivered services. Across local authorities and healthcare providers vast quantities of data exists but the growing consensus is not about volume but value where data is beginning to be recognised as a strategic asset.

‘Data Driven Organisation’ as a term is becoming more commonplace and in practical terms in means the enablement of employees across the organisation to use the right data at the right time ensuring it is in format where data can be interpreted to make business decisions based upon fact. So, it is clearly not just about having data but more about the fundamental culture an organisation must have to generate value from it.

To be a data driven an organisation must have:

  • Senior leaders who champion the use of data driven decision making
  • A unified view of all data held within the organisation
  • An operating model that increases data democratisation and literacy across the organisation
  • Data governance and ethics that are embedded seamlessly within all data activities.
  • Developed strategic data capabilities, products, and services through agile development practices that ensure data and insight products are delivered more quickly, iteratively and meet user needs.
  • Cross business function collaboration to support the delivery of data driven activities

If we are truly honest with ourselves very few organisations can claim to be data driven in the public sector. Whilst data exists it often does so in silos of functional work areas with a narrow view of interdependencies with actionable insight reflective of what ‘has’ happened offering little practical use. There needs to be a shift towards organisational cultures of evidence-based decision making which can be achieved by developing the values and behaviours relating to data and insight.

To become a data driven an organisation consideration should be given to:

  • The digital and data maturity of your organisation
  • Fully understanding the user requirements for data by focussing on ‘why’ rather than ‘what’ or ‘how’
  • Upskilling staff with data and insight specific roles to be confident and competent in using data and insight effectively
  • Upskilling staff across the organisation to understand the power of data and insight, and to feel comfortable using data and insight in their work

Below we consider a few problem areas that clients have approached us to support with data driven initiatives.  

  • Improving business outcomes
  • Design service improvements
  • Improving compliance and security of data
  • Enhancing data quality and improved communication on what is available
  • Reduction in cost and staff time
  • More timely and efficient access to key information
  • Interoperability between systems

It should not be viewed as a ‘one off’ project but a way of doing good things and solve difficult problems by unlocking the benefits your data has to offer as business as usual. With emerging technologies, data science, and analytics techniques organisations can leverage their data assets to maximise strategic and operational value.

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