Data alone isn’t valuable—it’s costly. Gathering, storing, and managing data all costs money. Data becomes valuable when you start to get insights from it and apply those insights to actions. But how do you empower your organization to do that?
You might be thinking that the answer is that you need another dashboard, or perhaps better visualizations. Sure those things can helpful, but without a data fluent culture within your organization, you’ll still be scratching your heads and wondering why it isn’t working. There are so many benefits of having a data fluent culture, but what path or framework do you need to actually get there?
The key to the data fluency is actually a web of connected elements. It requires (1) people who speak the language of data, (2) skilled producers of data products, (3) an organizational culture with the conditions to support data discussions, (4) and the systems, tools and ecosystem to create and share data products. The Data Fluency framework explains the roles of individuals, the organization and the systems necessary to achieve it.
Individual - The most fundamental element of your Data Fluency Framework is the individual or data consumer. The organization is made up of numerous individuals and enabling these individuals to understand and draw deeper meaning from data is the fundamental condition for a data fluent organization. It takes more than a solitary listener to give meaning to data. When individuals are informed, they can participate in comprehensive dialogue around that data.
Data Producer - Your organization’s data producers must work with your raw data and deliver the content in ways that are easy to absorb. Each individual comes to the information with different priorities, needs, and perspectives. As a producer of data, your successful translation of data builds on this variety as an asset - everyone in the discussion adds to the overall understanding of the group and finds their own insights.
Data Product Ecosystem - To enable the flow of information and the creation and sharing of data products, you need standards, tools, and process in place. A good example is what Apple did with the App Store in creating a platform and standards by which apps are created, tested, distributed, and reviewed. Your data product ecosystem is no different, you must come up with those same standards, tools and processes to facilitate the data environment:
Standards are the design patterns and style guidelines that make it easier for data producers to effectively communicate with the data.
Tools enable you need to design and build data products and ensure they are discoverable for your the target audience.
Processes encourage the sharing of insights and collaboration between producers and audiences, as well as ensure data hygiene and quality throughout.
Data Fluent Culture - As your company develops more data consumers and producers, the data fluent culture will develop and flourish. Your company will develop your own unique dialect of data fluency through defining key terms, data collection and interpretation. This leads your company to actions based on results and goals —and that is a culture everyone wants to have!
Pick up our book, Data Fluency, to learn more about how to create a data-fluent culture within your organization and contact us to get a demo of our product, Juicebox, and start turning your data into dollars.
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Excerpted with permission from the publisher, Wiley, from Data Fluency: Empowering Your Organization with Effective Data Communication by Zach Gemignani, Chris Gemignani, Richard Galentino, Patrick Schuermann. Copyright © 2014.