Employees with a data driven company culture

Behind the Buzzword: Data Culture

Many data leaders say that a data culture is critical in becoming a data-driven company. But what exactly does it mean, and why is it so important? We’ll break it down for you below.

What is data culture?

Data culture is a mindset within an organisation. The objective of a data culture is to encourage the people in an organisation to utilise, understand and promote data in the everyday running of the business. Creating a data culture emphasises the importance of data in decision-making for all aspects of an organisation, in all departments.

Why is data culture important?

This year’s survey of data leaders by NewVantage Partners identified cultural factors as ‘the greatest barrier to organisations becoming data-driven‘. While most companies have the necessary technology, creating the cultural change required to put data at the centre of decision-making is a much greater challenge. Encouraging data usage in day-to-day processes often requires both a mindset and behavioural change for existing staff.

How to create a data culture

There’s no one set way to establish a data culture, but there are a few steps you can take to expedite the process.

Step 1: Data Literacy Training

A ‘data-literate’ team member understands and uses data confidently in their daily role, communicates successfully about data concepts and collaborates on designing data products. Data literacy training is critical to developing these skillsets. This blog shares several tips on increasing data literacy in your organisation.

Step 2: Data Access

Data access, often called ‘data democratisation’, is the process of making data available to staff. This access to data enables teams to use data in their day-to-day role and utilise data creatively in projects. A lack of data democratisation can impede collaboration on data projects and slow the implementation of new processes or the utilisation of new solutions.

Step 3: Collaboration

Data projects that connect business and technical skill sets often have a higher success rate and faster delivery time. This business perspective helps align data solutions to business challenges and can support resolving data quality issues. Creating these collaboration opportunities also supports knowledge sharing between data people and traditionally “non-data” people within your organisation.

Step 4: Drive value with data

The final step in creating a data culture is to connect data to business value. This is most effective when it comes from the top. Board and senior management teams should lead by example, using data to inform decision-making and measure results. Organisations can showcase the value of data by creating new products that use data and utilising data to improve customer-facing services. This reinforces the importance of data literacy, quality, and collaboration, which culminates in a data culture.


Having a data culture is an essential step in a digital transformation. This data-driven mindset moves companies from a state where data solutions are simply available to one where they are utilised, valued and contributed to by the people in an organisation.

What’s Next?

Need support in your digital transformation? Check out our other blogs and resources where we explain more data concepts and strategies. Our expert team can also help with any aspect of your data transformation, speak to a member of our team today for more information.