Building a winning data culture is essential for any organisation that wants to use data to inform its decision making and drive business value. A strong analytics team can help an organisation understand its customers, optimise its operations, and drive innovation. But building such a team and culture requires careful planning and execution. 

In this blog we’ll cover the different steps you need to take when you’re looking to build a winning analytics team that drives a data culture.

Why consider building a winning data & analytics team?

Digital transformation is by many considered as the key to future-proofing your organisation. A large part of your digital transformation and innovation is driven by insights on which efforts and strategies drive value for your business… and which don’t.

Successful analytics teams are more likely to shine a light on those things and help companies understand how they can expect gains in market share, revenue and profits. That’s why becoming a data-driven organisation remains a top ambition for most companies.

Today, however, only 26.5% of organisations report having established a data-driven organisation.

The reason?

Becoming data-driven requires more than just having the right toolstack in place. It is driven by an organisational focus on cultural change throughout the company. In fact, having a company-wide data culture in place is the one thing that will really matter when the new tools you choose are getting old, and that one data project you’re looking to solve now is already long forgotten.

So, the question is; how do you build a data-driven mindset across the company, so that your team wants to use the tools and data you’re going to give them… with success?

Let’s dig deeper…

How to build a winning data & analytics team

Through Biztory’s own experience building a leading analytics team across Europe - and our own work with hundreds of clients - we’ve identified six core steps that can help businesses overcome their data challenges and build successful analytics teams.

One step at a time, here we go!

Step 1: Define the team’s goals and objectives

The first step in building a winning analytics team is to define what you want the team to achieve. This should involve setting clear goals and objectives for the team, such as improving customer retention, optimising marketing spend, or increasing revenue.

By setting clear goals, you can ensure that the team is focused and aligned on what matters most to the organisation.

Step 2: Identify the skills and expertise you need

Once you’re clear on what you want your team to achieve, the next step is to identify the skills and expertise that your team will need to achieve its goals. This may include expertise in specific technologies or programming languages, as well as domain expertise in areas such as marketing, finance, or operations.

To gain expertise in those other areas, you might want to partner with cross-functional departments in your company.

Take a look at the org chart. Which departments are (or should be) using data to make better decisions? Go and have a chat with them to see if they can help your analytics team with their knowledge, insights and domain expertise.

Step 3: Get the C-Suite on board

No matter how good the people in your analytics team, if you want them to succeed for the long haul - you need commitment from your organisation’s senior leadership. Without it, it is estimated that about 70% of your data and IT projects will fail.

Another important note here is that there is a big difference between passive support and active support. A C-Suite that is simply nodding their heads at everything you say, but doesn't actively engage and support you with your project, won’t get you in that other 30%.

Step 4: Foster a culture of continuous learning

Like any other team in your organisation, analytics teams thrive under a company culture that supports continuous learning and triggers curiosity.

To trigger curiosity and continuous learning, you need to introduce a fail-fast, learn-fast attitude over perfection. Allow your team members to make mistakes, experiment to challenge conventions, and ask critical questions that can improve their and your work.

Celebrate wins. Celebrate losses. Equally. Give room to reflect on where things went south, so the team can learn from mistakes and become better and better over time.


Step 5: Invest in the right tools and technologies

Sure, you always have to prioritise talent over tools. But make no mistake about the latter… it’s an important driver for your data culture and analytics team as well.

You could hire the best people in the world, but if they hate the technology they’re working with, that won’t do you any good either. You need to invest in the right tools and technologies, so your team can work as efficiently as possible towards the goals you laid out in step 1.


Step 6: Promote collaboration and communication

Finally, a winning analytics team is one that works well together and communicates effectively. Driving a data culture company-wide, really means: company… wide.

So, encourage team members to collaborate and share ideas, and make sure that there are clear channels of communication within your analytics team and other teams in the organisation.

Arend Verschueren

Arend Verschueren

Head of Marketing at Biztory

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