The Most Overlooked Ways to Cultivate A Data-Driven Organization

How organizational culture and corporate communication impact your analytics

It’s hard to argue that clear, effective communication isn’t a linchpin in business – the phrase ‘strong verbal and written communication skills’ exists in perpetuity on every job description that’s ever been created. Many believe that communication, or lack thereof, can be what causes some businesses to thrive, while others fail wildly.

The concept of ‘effective communication’ in business generally refers to a clear, open pipeline of timely and trustworthy information. Communication engenders trust, induces agility and promotes better decision-making.

What we often neglect to consider is how important communication is in the world of data and analytics – probably because this world is fundamentally quantitative, while communication is a soft-skill, or qualitative.

Open access to timely and trustworthy data is a great litmus test for whether your organization could be considered ‘data-driven.’ With most organizations still striving to be more data-driven, it’s clear that most organizations need to get better at data communication.

To achieve more effective data communications, data sharing (among departments, as well as between admin and end-users) needs to be streamlined. However, it also isn’t simply a matter of having the right IT resources. A study by Experian has found that psychology and emotions play an important role in how people share and use data.

While new solutions, like Altair Knowledge Hub, are available to streamline and optimize data communications, having the right software or process is only half the story. To facilitate and encourage data sharing within your organization, you need a cultural change that promotes transparency and collaboration.

Ensure accuracy and reliability of data

Trust plays an important role in information sharing within the corporate environment. If an employee is working on a set of data from another department, they need to be confident that the data came from a reliable source and has been cleaned up properly to make it error-free.

Transparency of the data sources and the use of a data-prep software application help ensure that the data is accurate and give employees the confidence they need to utilize data from across the organization so that they can do their jobs effectively.

Make data-sharing the norm

Convention is another factor that affects employees’ willingness to share and trust data. If they see that everyone is comfortable with sharing and utilizing data from across the organization, they’re more likely to do so.

Using a cloud-based data prep and sharing software application can help provide easy access and visibility into what’s being shared across the whole team to establish data sharing as the norm within the organization.

In addition, advocacy and adoption by management and leadership can go a long way in changing the culture and encouraging rank-and-file employees to follow suit.

Demonstrate proximity of purpose

People are more willing to share information when they see the value of doing it.

Provide context and communicate with your employees the “big picture” reason for sharing data more freely and openly. Explain how the data will be used and how it’ll positively impact the organization. Productivity will improve (less duplicate data, less duplicate effort). Trust in data will improve. Communications will improve. Insight into growth opportunities for the business will become clearer to the entire organization.

Transparency, visibility and accountability in the data-sharing process and environment will help you get the support of your team, so they’re more likely to contribute to the process. It’s the snowball effect in action.

Create a social environment for data sharing

Utilize social tools in your corporate resources to foster a culture of data-driven decision-making. Most intranets, content management systems and data catalogs include a rich set of social media-like capabilities.

Encourage data discovery and utilization through shares, likes, comments and ratings to ensure that high-quality and trusted data is used throughout the organization.

Machine learning can be used provide recommendations for individual users. This will help reduce overwhelming employees and help them produce insightful analysis because it guarantees that they are discovering the most relevant information.

In addition, you can use rewards systems, or gamification to recognize individuals who make positive impacts on organizational insights through the use of data.  This can help steer the data culture toward more transparency and visibility.


To successfully run a data-driven organization, you need tools that not only help to clean and ensure the accuracy of the data, but also encourage a critical culture shift within your organization. Technology can help with this – but it also requires initiative, leadership and… you guessed it – better communication.

Monarch Swarm is a browser-based platform offering team-driven data preparation and a centralized data marketplace that facilitates sharing, communication and collaborate. Request a live demo to see how you can change your data culture.