How do you become a data-driven organization?

Amazon Web Services

is how.

Data is more than an operational asset like factories, machinery, IP, and capital. Utilized correctly, data is an invaluable source of potential growth. The key is recognizing its inherent value, leveraging it intelligently, and creating a culture that embraces the power of being data-driven.

What does it mean to be data-driven?

What does it mean to be data-driven?

For organizations everywhere, data is the gateway to new opportunities. It’s limitless in use and the amount generated is increasing at an exponential rate, largely due to the growing number of connected devices and percentage of the world gaining internet access — both fixed and mobile.

What are common sources of organizational data?

With the right data strategy, organizations can control their growing data, find insights from diverse data types, and make it available to the right people and systems. To achieve this, an organization must be data-driven.

The goal is to collect data and use it intelligently.

What are common sources of organizational data?
Quote

Being a data-driven organization means culturally treating data as a strategic asset and then building capabilities to put that asset to use not just for big decisions but also for everyday action on the frontline.”

Ishit Vachhrajani, AWS Enterprise Strategist

Why is it important for organizations to be data-driven?

Why is it important for organizations to be data-driven?

Data should be thought of as the connective tissue of your organization—permeating and fueling collaborative gains across teams.

How are some key industries relying on data to inform their business?

  • Retailers
    Retailers
  • Manufacturers
    Manufacturers
  • Financial services organizations
    Financial services organizations
  • Healthcare organizations
    Healthcare organizations
  • Retailers
  • Retailers need to know how product lines are performing, along with footfall in physical stores and user behavior across digital channels, including social media.

    Retailers
  • Manufacturers
  • Manufacturers require up-to-the-minute information on supply chains, production machinery performance on factory floors, and distribution considerations.

    Manufacturers
  • Financial services organizations
  • Financial services organizations build their reputations on being ahead of market trends and need to offer innovative products and services while remaining compliant with stiff data regulations.

    Financial services organizations
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Healthcare organizations need collaborative ecosystems that allow professionals to access patient data in a secure and compliant manner. Researchers require powerful AI platforms to process data in an automated fashion.

    Healthcare organizations

What are the benefits of democratizing data across your organization?

Amazon
Make better decisions, faster
Read in Jeff Bezos’s letter to Amazon shareholders how the concept of high-velocity decisions is an essential component for businesses.
READ MORE 
Moderna
Respond better to the unexpected
Read how AWS helped power Moderna’s R&D to develop its COVID-19 vaccine.
READ MORE 
F1
Enhance customer experience and engagement
Read how AWS has accelerated data analytics and interactive telemetry capabilities for Formula 1, changing the way fans experience racing.
READ MORE 
Agero
Uncover new opportunities
Read how AWS has helped improve driver safety by powering Agero’s crash-detection algorithm platform development.
READ MORE 
Georgia-Pacific
Improve efficiency
Read how Georgia Pacific used AWS data-analytics solutions to optimize processes across its operations and save millions of dollars yearly.
READ MORE 
How do you become a data-driven organization?

How do you become a data-driven organization?

There are a variety of paths organizations can take to jump-start their data-driven roadmap, such as launching Big Data initiatives, broadening data-collection initiatives, hiring a Chief Data Officer (CDO), and creating new analytics functions. But there’s more to it than this. To become data-driven, organizations need to:

  • Create a culture of innovation that positions data at the core of your business strategy
  • Build data capabilities to help drive that culture

Creating a data-driven culture at scale

The majority of companies surveyed identified that cultural, organizational, and process challenges presented the biggest roadblocks to becoming a data-driven organization.1

A cultural shift is required within organizations to make data a more prominent factor in evolving business models.

1 Big Data and AI Executive Survey 2019 by NewVantage Partners

92.2% of companies identified culture as the biggest roadblock

The four E’s of data culture

How every organization can foster new perceptions of and relationships with data:

Engage in data-driven decision making

Engage in data-driven decision making

Organizations need to use data to guide and justify decisions continuously. This starts at the top with sustained, dedicated engagement. Pick an established, respected executive as the ‘single-threaded leader’ of your data initiatives who can push this focus forward.

Educate everyone

Educate everyone

A data-driven culture is only fully realized when data analytics skills are common across roles in your organization—and not exclusive to just data scientists. Leverage storytelling to ensure a seamless translation between the ‘science’ of data and the ‘art’ of business when championing best practices and sharing out business wins.

Eliminate data blockers

Eliminate data blockers

Three common data blockers stand in the way of becoming data-driven:

Old way solutions: When you change the processes and products to be data-driven, don’t make these changes optional.

Resistance solutions: Create a culture that uses data to seek an honest inquiry to help EVERYONE be better.

Silo solutions: Treat data as an organizational asset, not a departmental property.

READ THE CASE STUDY 
Enable frontline action

Enable frontline action

Democratize the ability to act on data and have the confidence to push decisions down to the frontline, where data and insights reside. Stop relying on the HiPPO (highest paid person’s opinion) to embrace decentralized decision making.

READ THE CASE STUDY 

Creating data-driven capabilities at scale

Organizational design, governance, and accountability are essential to ensuring that your data-driven culture continues to thrive.

Organization structure

Many businesses are creating a centralized function that prioritizes and funnels all data analytics needs. These ‘Data/Analytics Center of Excellence’ models have their pros and cons:

Pro

Can accelerate data journeys within an organization.

Con

Can operate as a gatekeeper, slowing experimentation with data across business teams.

Data governance

Organizations should create a lightweight data governance structure that starts with the goal of enabling more access to data, not restricting it. To support this, there’s an increasing trend of breaking out data engineering and analytics from IT, which can sometimes create friction. Regardless of the org structure, IT should play an important role in data governance efforts, given its cross-departmental view.

Data accountability

Shifting from data ownership to data stewardship can transform a business’s relationship with data by creating a greater degree of accountability that implements security and privacy by design at every step:

  • Raw data can be ‘stamped’ by stewards to ensure consistency and quality.
  • Stewards become responsible for educating others in the organization on the data that falls under their stewardship.
  • Data used by others can be validated and published by stewards.

How can AWS help you leverage the power of data?

With a better understanding of data and how to best leverage it for your company, the keys to unlocking new opportunities are in your hand. At AWS, we’re always working from a ‘Day 1’ perspective to ensure we’re promoting—and helping others benefit from—the power of being data-driven.

Data can push your organization forward in all new ways

Read more to find out how
The Data-driven Enterprise
ebook

The Data-Driven Enterprise

Discover how you can use data to bring agility to your business
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The Power of the Data-Driven Enterprise
Accenture and AWS ebook

The Power of the Data-Driven Enterprise

Some companies can improve their risk posture more efficiently than others
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Unmasking Your Organization's Data Problem
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Unmasking Your Organization's Data Problem

Common data dysfunctions and how you can address them
Read more 

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