Investing in becoming a data-driven company is a common thread in discussions about the future of business...

Investing in becoming a data-driven company is a common thread in discussions about the future of business. Unfortunately, a 2018 survey of major corporate executives found that the adoption of a data-driven culture is still lagging at many organizations.

Why are companies failing on data strategy? Let’s look at four reasons why and how they might apply to your situation.

Not Knowing How to Attack Multiple Opportunities

The lack of a solid data-driven culture is one of the biggest problems. This cuts to the core concept of setting the agenda. While a majority of the businesses from the study understood the importance of using analytics to make better decisions, a decided minority were taking advantage of secondary opportunities. For example, barely more than a quarter of the businesses had bothered to test the waters on monetizing their data.

Many companies don’t see data as a direct driver of profits. To this end, companies should consider things like:

  • Creating data-driven products, such as white papers and industry reports
  • Using data to drive interest in social media
  • Selling data directly to third parties

Focusing on Buzzwords Rather Than Action

Even major enterprises with respectable reputations have managed to fumble their “digital transformations.” While announcing a digital transformation is a good way to create a tech-savvy image and boost the share price, it’s not remotely the same thing as formulating a data strategy. 

To get the job done, you need to look at the following issues:

  • Setting internal standards for the acquisition, use, storage, and sharing of data
  • Installing C-level data officers and giving them the power to implement changes
  • Bringing all members of your company on board with the idea of transforming digital operations
  • Hiring professionals with backgrounds in programming, database management, AI, machine learning, and other technologies
  • Providing severance packages for employees and corporate officers who can’t get on board.

It’s important to take action rather than be the company that purely talks about data. A data-centric enterprise has an opportunity to improve processes, employee and customer relations, products, and services. Commit upfront to the process, and you’ll be amazed by the results.

Not Following on Successes with More Efforts

There’s a major risk that any digital transformation effort that fosters a data-centric culture will stall out due to its own success. Be wary of calling any effort quits without laying the groundwork for further successes. The job gets achieved, and possibly quite well, but then data becomes a complete project that fades into the past. 

A company can quickly become the proverbial hare that gets overtaken by the tortoise. While your operation might have done amazing work sprinting out to lead amongst competitors, slow and steady businesses that keep coming with new efforts will always win the race.

Struggling to Establish a Two-Way Street

People at all levels of the organization have to be able to communicate with each other. It’s also a smart idea to ensure that different departments are cooperating in ways that:

  • Prevent duplicating efforts
  • Offer options in an easy-to-understand way
  • Make the most of visualizations
  • Help parties understand what the data is saying.

Not Following the Data to Logical Conclusions

You can read about, listen to, and even develop some of the most valuable data in the world. But it’s important to try to see what the data pool is pointing to. This requires:

  • Experience working with math, data, stats, and probabilities
  • The ability to rapidly read small contexts while thinking macro 
  • Disclosure of all possible biases

Getting to the data-powered future is going to have more than its fair share of bumps. The important thing is to put data-driven shifts at the top of your To-Do list.

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Picture of Scottie Todd

Scottie Todd

Digital Marketing Lead

“Level 4 marketing wizard on a quest for
data insights one blog post at a time.”


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