Why should Executives care about data?

Carmen Tile

Time and time again, we get asked: how do I get my Executive team to see the value of data?

Without leadership from the top and alignment throughout the business, organisations struggle to be data-driven and execute on data.

We wanted to share our top points to raise in conversation if you’re struggling to get buy in from your Exec team to make data analytics a top priority.

 

1.     Value: ‘Data can add tremendous value and competitive advantage to the company.’

It’s hard to believe that only a few years ago, data and analytics sat on the low priority list for many businesses. Today, some of the world’s most valuable businesses, including Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Uber, have led the way to show how data can be used to allow organisations to know their customers, and continue to deliver relevant experiences that keep people coming back. As a consequence, it’s now recognised that data actually has value on the balance sheet and many of the world’s financial markets also realise it has a tangible value. It’s important to relay this fact to your Exec team in a way they can understand, by showcasing the value of data at every touchpoint and continuously reinforcing it to raise awareness.

 

2.     Choice: ‘Our customer cares and so should we.’

Thanks to the digital age, today’s customers know they have a choice. People are no longer loyal to brands and it’s much easier, and more acceptable, to opt out or change to a competitor based on their last experience or interaction with a company. They expect companies to know them, reward them and make their life easier. If your competitor cares and you don’t, you will be left behind! You need to ensure that your Exec team knows exactly what projects are being worked on, how they align to the overall business strategy and what it means for your customers. There’s no point in having a data analytics team doing the work but not communicating the value, and business outcome, of data-driven customer centricity.  

 

3.     Security: ‘Data is a risk – even if we’re not looking to use it as an asset.’

The increase of data over the last few years has meant most business' legacy systems contain years of information about their customers and products. Even if you’re not currently using data in your business, your customer’s details are private information and pose a significant security risk if not managed appropriately. Comprehensive governance and security policies are a must, particularly given the new Privacy Legislation that takes effect on December the 1st. There’s never been a better time to talk to your Exec team about reviewing data privacy policies to ensure compliance. This isn’t just about buying a technology or tool or allocating responsibility to a team or individual, but requires awareness and ownership across every data touchpoint.

 

4.     Thinking: ‘Becoming truly data-driven requires a significant cultural shift - this needs to be supported from above.’

‘Insights’, ‘data’ and ‘digital’ should all be part of your entire organisation’s DNA and not limited to specific teams or business units. Fully integrating data into your business requires significant change and a conscious, cultural shift within the business to execute and succeed. It means breaking down silos and a new way of thinking and operating. This is not something that can be implemented overnight and requires continuous leadership, focus and visibility. Your Exec team needs to understand that although data and analytics can sit anywhere across the business, leaders at the Exec level need to support its alignment across the entire business and be clear of the value.

 

Get in touch with our team for further recommendations and advice on how data and analytics can be your organisation’s top priority.

 

Download the Data Revolution – an executive guide to becoming a data-led business to compete in the ‘Age of the Customer’, authored by our Founder Chair Carmen Vicelich.