Prachi Priya, Chief Data Officer at Team One, speaks with Kellie de Leon, Senior Director of Marketing at Treasure Data, in a video interview about the hurdles of building a data-driven culture, the importance of data storytelling, various aspects of change management, building the right team, and how CDOs enable data culture.
At the onset, Priya states that a data-driven culture is achieved when decisions are made based on data evidence rather than gut instinct. Evidence and reason are the most important metrics when making decisions, she adds. Priya cites research from New Vantage that suggests that only 26.8% of firms have been successful in establishing a data culture.
Speaking of challenges, Priya states that the biggest hurdle is the existence of data silos in many organizations. Silos make it difficult to access insights, build culture, and use data-based reasoning and decisions.
Next, Priya mentions the resistance to changing organizational practices and the quality of the data as two additional issues that can prevent the growth of a data culture. She believes that it is necessary to implement measures to work against resistance to change and to increase the quality of the data to achieve a successful data culture.
Further, Priya discusses a high-level framework that is key to driving changes in data culture. She believes it is essential to define and communicate the vision for the data-driven culture. This includes identifying the business goals and objectives that an organization wants to achieve through data-driven decision making. She reiterates the fact that data and technology initiatives should be linked to business initiatives.
Moving forward, Priya states that as a critical aspect of change management, the organization must assess the current state to get an idea of the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to improve the whole process, and then create a roadmap to achieve the vision. Commenting on implementing that change and achieving that vision, she maintains that there must be specific goals, milestones, and a timeline.
Additionally, she highlights how building the right team fuels change. The team should be composed of people with various skill sets like data scientists, engineers, analysts, data storytellers, and data consultants, who are aligned with the vision. While everyone has a specific role in the team, in its entirety, the team's complementary skill sets can successfully drive the desired change, Priya says.
Emphasizing storytelling, she mentions how it is critical to bringing change and building a data-driven culture. She states that it is essential to not only cleanse and model the data but also use the results to create a compelling narrative or story. The narrative must be powerful enough to inspire decisions and take the team on a journey to get the desired results. Priya also points out that an algorithm is useless unless there is a clear understanding of the problem that needs to be solved and the business objectives that need to be achieved.
Therefore, she believes that ‘data translators' and ‘storytellers' are integral parts of the analytics team, as they can bridge the gap between technical and other departments. She affirms that storytelling is key to creating better business outcomes.
Prachi Priya | Chief Data Officer at Team One
When asked about promoting data literacy, Priya observes that placing the Chief Data Officer or Analytics Officer in an organization is instrumental in promoting a data-driven culture. She reckons that a CDO needs a solid technology partner.
However, Priya believes that it is important that the CDO not be placed in the technology office itself because the focus needs to always be on the business in general. In conclusion, she states that if CDOs are a part of the executive team and report directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), there is better C-suite visibility, and it reflects active sponsorship from executive leadership that helps in driving the data culture.
CDO Magazine appreciates Prachi Priya for sharing her Insights with our global community.