How to Encourage Your Team to Be Data-Driven
Episode #6 of the course How to create a data-driven culture by Jon Leighton
Throughout this course, I’ve been encouraging you to share your objectives and KPIs with your team so that everyone is aware of the goals they need to hit for one very important reason: The key to a great data-driven culture is transparency.
If you want your team to become more data-driven, they need to have the right data available to them. Simply having access to data that allows them to make more informed decisions will encourage them to start integrating data into their everyday work.
This means breaking down any silos.
At the very least, your sales and marketing teams should be working together, but they should also be working closely with your web team.
Together, not only will they be sharing their data, but they’ll also be sharing their expertise.
For example, sales teams will be able to bring their data and knowledge about which products are the most successful, marketing teams will be able to bring data from A/B tests of the best copy for the product description, and the web team will be able share data about the best way to build and design the page itself.
The result of that? The most optimized product page you can get.
Another key point is to make sure all of your team understands the data they’re using and the tools that are gathering the data.
If your team doesn’t understand the information they’re looking at, it can become a barrier to them embracing the data-driven culture you’re trying to build.
Whether this is through actual training or simply sitting down with them and answering their questions, you need your team to feel comfortable with the data in front of them.
If you’re really looking to be transparent, you should also involve the team in the creation of business objectives, choosing KPIs, and setting targets.
Being data-driven doesn’t mean just using the data created by tools; it also means using the knowledge and expertise that each team member has in their head. So by getting them involved early on, you’re utilizing that expertise.
How to Start Cultivating a Data-Driven Mindset
So bearing in mind some of the points we’ve just discussed, how can you start introducing this new mindset to your team?
1. Ask team members to back up their opinions with data
The easiest way to start is to not accept any new ideas from your team without some form of data to back it up. If they have a suggestion for a new product, ask for the metrics that back it up. If they think they know why traffic has dropped from a specific channel, ask to see the evidence.
This is a simple step that will quickly reinforce the importance of using data to make decisions.
2. Make sure everyone is aware of the KPIs, what they mean, and the current progress
Most businesses have weekly all-team meetings to make sure everyone knows what they’re doing and what’s next. During these meetings, start by reminding the team of the KPIs they’re targeting (and this may differ department to department) and where the figures currently stand.
It will be a frequent reminder of what the business is aiming to achieve and that everything your team does should have an impact on those KPIs.
3. Encourage collaboration
Silos are one of the biggest barriers to a data-driven culture. The data created by your salespeople (or person!) can be incredibly useful for those working on design, marketing, and countless other jobs. Therefore, encouraging the sharing of information between teams can be the catalyst for changing the mindset.
These three steps can easily encourage your team to become more data-driven and start using KPIs combined with their expertise to reach your objectives. And best of all, you can get started with these straight away!
In the next lesson, we’ll take a look at other types of data that you can utilize to help your business.
Data Smart: Using Data Science to Transform Information into Insight by John W. Foreman
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