In this episode of CDO Battlescars, Sandeep Uttamchandani, Unravel Data’s CDO, speaks with Meenal Iyer, Sr. Director of Enterprise Analytics and Data at Tailored Brands. They discuss battlescars in two areas, data and metrics: Growing Data Literacy and Developing a Data-Driven Culture and Standardization of Business Metrics.
Meenal brings in 20+ years of data analytics experience across retail, travel, and financial services. Meenal has been transforming enterprises to become data-driven and shares interesting, domain-agnostic lessons from her experience. Here are the key talking points from their chat.
Growing Data Literacy and Developing a Data-Driven Culture
What Does it Mean to be Data-Driven?
At a very fundamental level, being data-driven means that actions are taken based on insights derived from data.
In order for an enterprise to be truly classified as data-driven, there are a few qualifications that need to be met:
- Leadership must have a data-driven mentality.
- The organization has to be data-literate, meaning that everyone in the organization knows that there is an initiative that they are pulling the data for.
- You need to have a foundational framework of your data.
How to Create a Data-Driven Culture and Increase Data Literacy
The biggest challenge Meenal faced in shifting the culture to a data-driven one is the fact that people often have the mindset that, ”if something is already working, why do we need to fix it?”
- To change that mindset, it is important to collaborate and communicate with all parties the reasons for making changes in an application.
- Allow everyone, including leadership, middle management, and end-users, to lay out pros and cons, and address it all, while keeping emotions off the table. Be transparent about both the capabilities and limitations of each application.
- To increase data literacy in an organization, the education must be top-down. Leadership must communicate why the organization needs to be data-literate, making the end goal clear.
Standardization of Business Metrics
Currently, Meenal is working on building the data foundation needed to build the data science platform at Tailored Brands. One of the biggest challenges she is facing is maintaining consistency in business metrics.
- It may be challenging to come to a single definition for an enterprise KPI or metric and then identify the data steward for that metric. Sometimes you have to take the lead and choose who will be the data steward.
- You need to make sure that the source of data that is informing the metric is the right dataset. This dataset should come out of a central organization rather than multiple organizations. This works well because if it is wrong, it is wrong in just that one place.
- Once a metric is defined, it is built into reporting applications.
If you’re interested in any of the topics discussed here, Sandeep and Meenal talked about even more in the full podcast. Be sure to check out the full episode and the rest of the CDO Battlescars podcast series!