Are employees or execs holding back data-driven cultures?
According to a survey from Exasol, nearly two-thirds of data teams (65 percent) have experienced employee resistance to the adoption of data-driven methods at their organizations, despite an overwhelming 73 percent believing that most employees are open to a data-driven approach.
Of those respondents who have experienced some resistance, 42 percent of decision-makers attribute a lack of understanding of the organization’s data strategy, followed by a widespread (40 percent) lack of education about the positive impact data brings.
The survey of over 2,000 data strategy decision-makers from the U.K., Germany, the U.S. and China was taken just before the emergence of the coronavirus. Past studies have found companies struggling to embrace data-driven and data-first approaches. The shortfalls have since been amplified as COVID-19 has forced companies to unlock the value of data faster.
Randy Bean, CEO of NewVantage Partners, a consulting firm, however, believes a lack of executive commitment is often the major impediment to a data culture. He wrote in a column for MIT Sloan Management Review, “Most pay lip service to the criticality of data in their annual reports and company mission statements, but far fewer companies embody it in their DNA or in their day-to-day business practices.”
Alation’s just-released “State of Data Culture Report” similarly found c-level executives often resistant to embracing data despite 78 percent having company-wide initiatives to become more data-driven.
Alation’s survey of 300 data and analytics leaders in the U.S. and Europe found 67 percent asserting their company’s C-level executives ignore data when making business decisions, relying instead on gut instinct. The top reason was that the execs believe their gut instinct is the differentiator, cited by 42 percent. Another 35 percent said it’s because there’s not enough collaboration and 35 percent said it’s because they are used to doing things their own way.
Trust in data quality was found to be a primary hurdle in the effort to be data-driven. Ninety percent of those polled said that their executives at least sometimes question the data that they use, with 56 percent saying this happens often or all of the time, according to Alation’s report.
- 65 percent of Data Teams Have Experienced Employee Resistance to Adopting Data-Driven Methods – Exasol/Business Wire
- Why Culture Is the Greatest Barrier to Data Success – MIT Sloan Management Review
- Alation Releases Inaugural State of Data Culture Report – Alation
- Data and the Human: Data-Driven vs. Gut Instinct – CIO
- How to build a data-driven company – Silicon Angle
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are employees or c-level executives putting up greater resistance to creating data-driven cultures and organizations? Is data quality or some other factor the bigger issue, and how should companies address these issues?