Wherever your organization is right now on the journey towards a more data-driven culture, you can progress further down the path.
Are you at the trailhead?
Recognizing that your organization is making decisions based on anecdote, stories, hunches, or small samples, and that there is more out there on the data path ahead, is an achievement. Perhaps you serve on the board of a small nonprofit that operates in a we’ve-always-done-it-that-way capacity, and the only data driving any decisions are financial statements. That’s ok, but how about adding some metrics to the discussion – how many clients are served? How much program money is spent per person? How many reached / educated / fed / housed / cared for / provided art to in a year by geography?
You’re at the trailhead. You may benefit from tools like Google Analytics, Salesforce, Toggl and Timefox to help you track metrics and time. And, p.s. – more and more nonprofits are using Salesforce now.
Are you already on the trail?
Perhaps you develop marketing campaigns and measure the same handful of KPIs you always have, but have that itchy feeling that there’s more nuance to your success than you’re measuring. That’s ok too – you’re on the path. More and more tools exist to ease businesses into capturing, measuring, and visualizing success. Besides my favorites Tableau and Piktochart, Google has Data Studio in beta, part of a new suite of tools perfect for marketers. I’ve written more about BI tools here.
Are you almost to the summit?
Perhaps you’re already an organization that gleans actionable intelligence from your business process data. That’s great – but is your organization putting the “action” in actionable? Are decisions being made on data? Is the data up-to-date? Do all members of the organization (not just IT or the analytics team or senior leadership) have access to data dashboards? Can all decision-makers see data outcomes in real time, and filter and shape their view to hone in on their department / agency / manufacturing line / vertical? If yes, you’re at the summit. When all levels of an organization can understand, use, and employ data to guide business decisions, a data-driven culture has bloomed.