HBR: Relying on data will improve decision-making — 10 steps to foster a data-driven culture

If done properly, collecting and utilizing patient data promises to streamline business operations and strategies and boost engagement, but very few organizations have unlocked the full potential of the data they have amassed.

A new article in the Harvard Business Review posits that "the biggest obstacles to creating data-based businesses aren't technical; they're cultural. It is simple enough to describe how to inject data into a decision-making process. It is far harder to make this normal, even automatic, for employees — a shift in mindset that presents a daunting challenge."

To overcome those challenges, then, the article offers 10 guidelines to ensure organizations are building a culture that will allow for the most effective use of the vast amounts of data they are collecting.

1. Understand that a data-driven culture starts at the top levels of an organization.

2. Be careful in choosing what data, exactly, to collect.

3. Allow data scientists to work in close proximity to business operations.

4. Address data-access issues as quickly as possible.

5. Be prepared for a certain amount of uncertainty.

6. Pursue analytics projects that are simple and viable, rather than flashy and exciting.

7. Don't overwhelm analysts with unneeded additional training.

8. Use data and analytics to help employees, too.

9. Build consistency across the organization.

10. Ask teams to explain every analytical choice.

More articles on data analytics:
HBR: The 7 jobs of the chief data officer
Alphabet's GV leads $100M investment in healthcare analytics startup
Tampa General introduces data analytics platform

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