The term company culture evokes thoughts of forced team-building exercises and icebreakers. So, the term data culture might sound like that combined with math class to a lot of people. In reality, it’s not like that at all. A company that strives for a data culture is essentially trying to “leverage data whenever and wherever possible to enhance business efficiency and effectiveness,” according to Forbes contributor Brent Dykes. There are many aspects to achieving this. One of the most important facets is promoting collaboration to get the most out of data.

Establishing Data’s Objectivity Over Opinion, Across All Departments

What causes some companies to succeed and others to fail? There are, of course, many reasons for this. But there’s one thing that will almost always holds back an organization – mismanagement. Great management teams know they can’t do everything on their own. All departments and individuals in a company need to be on the same page. This is where data comes into play.

Employees come from all different backgrounds, have varying beliefs, and often hold contesting personal values. However, this shouldn’t get in the way of building a positive workplace. So how should you go about promoting collaboration between people who might not normally want to work together? Data can help bridge this gap, as it relies on objectivity over opinions. Once employees are all on board with the idea of using data to improve operations, they’ll see the value of this form of collaboration. And from a management perspective, it alleviates a lot of the issues that arise from contrasting personalities.

Data Allow Every Department to Speak the Same Language

It’s challenging to get all members of an organization on the same page. People have vastly different ideas about what’s the best way to do things. These clashing opinions can often be observed across various teams and departments. This is especially true in larger companies, which can house many subcultures and cliques beneath the overarching whole.

But data isn’t exclusive. Whether someone’s working in human resources, logistics, customer service, IT, or upper management, data can be harnessed to make their job better. And that’s exactly how you should approach introducing BI reporting and other forms of data analytics to employees – tools for making everyone’s life easier and more efficient. If people can appreciate data in this way, it will get them excited about applying it to every aspect of the company. This will in turn foster collaboration among all workers—opening up those otherwise segmented groups of individuals.

Get Everyone Helping Each Other

Not everyone within an organization will be at the same level when it comes to understanding data and analytics software. This is especially true at the onset of trying to get everyone to participate in using data. Don’t think of this as an inherent disadvantage.

Obviously, people have different strengths and skill sets. Some employees are going to have a much stronger knack for learning about and incorporating data into daily use than others. Use this as an opportunity to get people working together. This can mean people from different departments, or on the same team.

A True Reason for Deep Engagement

When people gather around the proverbial water cooler in the office, they’re often there to blow off steam, or talk about something somewhat mundane. People who find themselves in highly repetitive roles especially fall into these patterns. Most employees want to be stimulated by their work. In fact, about 73 percent say they would quit for a new job if the new gig provided better challenges. Those are exactly the people who you want to keep at your company.

Allowing employees to dig into the data of their position will open up a whole new world for them. They’ll be able to see their work in a whole new way and find novel ways to excel at it. You might even find that people on break are talking less about the game from last night, and more about how to improve the company. That’s the power of building a data culture within your organization.

Data-driven collaboration won’t happen overnight. There are going to be some growing pains on the way to this goal. However, if you’re persistent, and give your employees the right training and encouragement, they’ll see the benefits of collaboration through a data culture.

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