1. Data using organizations care about what happens after the analysis.

Written by Raleigh Gresham

Data using organizations know there are a lot of reasons to collect data, but for it to truly be used, they know the focus needs to be on what happens after it’s extracted, transformed, loaded, and analyzed. They focus the bulk of their energy on what happens after the analysis. Data using organizations know the value of their work isn’t in their data warehouses, math, or reporting but in the actions that all of these lead to. They focus on what happens to financials as a result of these actions – they’ve solved the riddle of connecting data to the P&L.

Data using organizations work hard to hide the actual mechanics of data use. Like the sugar in a really good cake, they make the models, data sets, technology, and reporting invisible – they make the next step the star. They evaluate the success of their work according to how much movement takes place not the number of variables, processors, or slide decks used.

Data using organizations have a non-traditional approach to working with data. They practice the art of what they do as much as the science. If things end up being vague, vanilla and lukewarm after an analysis they know it’s mostly from a lack of creativity not a lack of “good” data or technology.

Data using organizations leverage a hybrid of trained mathematician, programmer, and designer. They merge analytical skills with industrial, graphic, user experience, and information design skills. They believe success after the analysis is dependent on the laws and art of these more experiential disciplines.

Data using organizations want analytical work to end up as close to the transaction as possible. They know data being used at the cash register has much more value than data being used in corporate HQ. They focus on the operational implications of data use more than strategy and planning implications.

Data using organizations approach each project they take on with a business model mindset. They have an understanding of the core elements involved in how they generate value and they don’t let the complexity of big enterprise cloud the basics that make their business work. They use these business model principles to simplify and hyper-focus the questions they ask data to answer.

Data using organizations treat data like Duct tape. They don’t niche it to being just a decision support tool. They see data and analytics as much more than the fossil fuel behind reports, charts and slide decks. Data using organizations see data as a multi-functioning tool that can create solutions to problems well beyond the narrow scope of reporting and analytics.