Data Driven Culture Questionnaire

Data Driven Culture Questionnaire

August 5, 2017 Data Driven Culture 0

Our Reason For Data Driven Cultures And Coaching

We believe the concept of using data to support hypotheses is not limited to the data scientists.

Creating a company culture of data driven experts that care about their customers develops an unstoppable force.  

Our team of data consultants is not just focused on data science, it is focused on creating data ecosystems and cultures that are robust and successful.

More KPIs doesn’t always work, because that doesn’t actually change the culture. It just adds more work for the analysts without leading them to make their own decisions.

Truthfully, is just more numbers for your executives to either ignore or cause further analysis paralysis.

What does being data driven allow your team to do? Does it actually create a competitive advantage to be data focused?

Being data focused makes them aware of how the resources are being spent and how to be good stewards of those resources.


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This requires developing a culture that doesn’t just give reports and figures to executives to make decisions. Instead, they go to their leadership with their own decisions backed by their data that they trust.

They have already sliced and diced the data, they have already methodically set up questions, test cases

This cultural shift requires time and process development. Imagine if your teams were data driven, empathetic to customer needs and good stewards of their resources(which requires them to be aware of what those are!). They would be make correct, customer focused, company benefiting decision!

Here are some quick questions to get your team started in the right direction!

Does your team do a process or data peer review?

This is one of our questions we love to ask, because we have seen peer reviews save so many projects and presentations. They are not just for engineers!

We are all human, and all make silly mistakes. Having a peer review in your  teams processes ensures that your multiple team members have looked at a decision before bringing it to their executives.

In the end, it allows for more accurate results and multiple peopel understanding different pieces of the puzzles they are trying to solve.

What is your teams data or problem checklist 

This especially applies to data analysts and engineering teams. However, is pertinent to most departments. Whether a data science department or marketing department. There should be a CONCISE but thorough checklist that ensures the results and opinions your executives get are accurate and thought out.

This could be simple as:

  1. Define and designate problem
  2. Design and explore solutions
  3. Build and or develop output
  4. Test 3-4 use cases
  5. Peer review
  6. Fix issues from peer review
  7. Bring to executive

Some people believe this is wasteful, it is a lot of steps. However, this process is designed to save time. By ensuring that everyone is on the same page early. Teams avoid scope creep, ensure accurate results and practice communicating with other team members the results prior to approaching executives.

Quick Note: You are going to notice a theme. We will keep mentioning “Before they approach your executives”. We have noticed it is common for teams to go to executives with results expecting them to solve the problem. Our goal is to train that out of teams. This has happened because either no one gave them the chance to use their brains (which they are smart!) or because their answers were always shot down.

Part of building a data driven team is trusting them to make good decisions.

How do you challenge your teams data and decisions?

This is not about being aggressive or adversarial.

This question is about developing a team that doesn’t just bring executives numbers and then expect them to make a decision. No, it is about leading and teaching your teams to come to your leadership ready with the correct answer first. Not coming with some data points and hoping someone else will make the call.


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This can be terrifying for some people. As a leader, you need to make sure you don’t come off as untrusting, or all knowing. Instead, try to recall your favorite professor or teacher. How did they help you learn a subject, they didn’t berate you.

They might have given you a bad grade, and made you work to really get an “A”. You actually had to think, rather than just fill in the boxes on an exam.

That is what you want to develop, a team that thinks, and then comes to leadership. Ready to defend their data, and their conclusion!

How do you find your team’s purpose(e.g. How do they fit into strategy)

Don’t worry about all the different data your team could analyze or new technologies they could be using. Start with the question, start with how a team of analysts, or engineers can actually influence strategy.

This will help avoid constant switching of projects and help narrow down which projects should really be done. This helps your team ignore the hype of all the new technologies and let’s them do their jobs.

Who are your data focused brains in jars?

This might seem like a silly question. However, generally every few teams have a brilliant data focused mind. Sometimes they get overlooked because they are so busy building tableau reports rather than helping lead data driven initiatives.

There are people in your company, yes, right now, that know your data inside and out. Develop them into your data leaders! Develop them into your internal consultants, strategists and coaches that help to inspire other teams.

Get them together and help them learn how to lead, and challenge your leadership. Yeah, you heard us. It is a two way street.

One that requires intelligent and cordial discussions. Find those data-focused and driven people and give them a voice. Teach them how to be great data leaders, even if they don’t have the executive title. Data driven cultures need good debates, they need good valuable, and organized discussions that help everyone see more clearly.

Does Your Team Keep Track Of Their Work?

Bringing numbers and claiming that they prove your point is not enough. Your team needs to prove and reprove their theories. This means actually tracking queries and excel work sheets.

There need to be processes in place that they can replicate their work over and over again. This allows for automation as well as reproduction of results.

Does you and your team know what resources it has and more importantly, where they are being spent?

Whether it be budget, headcount, software, etc. We have gone to teams and executives who could not give us a straight answer before.

If they could, they had no real idea why they were spending money on invoices and purchase orders that they were being told was theirs.

This is a good baseline question.

Your team should have a general idea of where their time is spent, how much they spend on specific software, and what actions can be cut.

We don’t recommend you throw this on your team suddenly. It is about challenging them to think for themselves. Some teams have been so accustomed to letting management keep track and make certain decisions, that they don’t feel trusted with those concepts.


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Why All The Questions To Help Coach Your Executives To Create More Data Driven Teams?

These are just some of the questions we ask executives and leaders. Our goal is to coach them into realizing their teams are smart people and they need to be given the trust and opportunity to make data based decisions.

If your teams make decisions, you have to make sure they are right more often than wrong. In some cases, you might trust your team’s decision, but not drill into them. That is part of the process.

It is not mean, it is ensuring they trust their data as much as they say they do! Talking it out, prior to meeting executives, and during their meetings let’s them see possible errors and gaps.

This also has several other advantages that have nothing to do with data driven cultures, or data consulting, or data science.

Our approach is holistic. We coach to grow your team to be more successful. Yes, Our focus is on data. However, it is not the end goal.

Our goal, is to maximize your team’s potential.

Data is merely a tool to get there. If you have further data team development questions and just need a quick answer, feel free to email it to us, we would love to answer it. Or if your executives are interested in having a data culture workshop. Feel free to contact us!

We also have several other data science consulting articles you may enjoy!

How Do Machines Learn Bias, and What Are The Effects On Society

30 Tips To Ensure Data Project Success – Data Science Consulting

How To Lead A Data Science Team