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The Link Between Data & Culture

Jared Hillam

Jared Hillam

February 23, 2017


In pretty much every business presentation, you’re going to find the typical People, Process, and Technology categories to describe organizational improvement,  and indeed those three are really important focus points.

But, at Intricity we believe there’s a 4th which most organizations have little to no focus on… Culture.  For many companies, they feel they can check off the culture box by hanging some inspirational slogan in an HR person’s cubicle. Culture isn’t some kind of “feel good” way of doing business, rather it’s a strategy to affect how decisions get made by individuals, and since turning data into information is all about making business decisions better, you can see how critical culture is to its realization.

So, when Intricity walks into organizations that have broken Business Intelligence and Data Management cultures, here are some of the things we see:

  • We see IT teams deciding to build complex integrations without business users' input because “the business doesn’t know what it wants.”
  • We see Business Stakeholders deciding not to engage with IT because “it takes them forever to do anything!”
  • We see independent Business Stakeholders deciding to dump raw data into a tactical excel silo and then turning that into their regular way of getting information
  • We see IT deciding to shame those data silos because they don’t follow “Best Practices”
  • We see Business Stakeholders deciding to buy BI products independently from IT or any business strategy
  • We see IT deciding to ignore Business users' requests to evaluate new BI platforms [zoom the previous animation out [
  • We see Business Stakeholders and IT deciding to shoehorn Business Intelligence into their CRM and ERP applications, perpetuating even more data silos

Now, by the way, I literally could keep this list going all day.  Unlike CRM or ERP deployments, the data-to-information process crosses all the functions of your company.  In fact, it’s one of the few disciplines that the organization will take on, which span all the applications you have deployed. Nothing else really does that. So, to be successful in this domain, your organizational culture needs to adopt a mission-level perspective of the business, rather than a tactical one, and that isn’t something you normally find outside of the C suite. It’s a cultural state of mind.

Now I wish I could tell you that there was “an app for that”. But culture is slow. It requires somebody outside the political spider web to successfully displace a bad culture. These outsiders need to have seen success multiple times because something will come up that isn’t “in the textbook.”

In helping our customers build new cultures, we pair our consultants with your team members during a target project. This helps the organization to assimilate a new ethos in relation to the data. And sometimes that ethos goes all the way to the CEO.

I’ve written a more detailed whitepaper that delves deeper into the links between data and culture, which is linked here in the video. I recommend you reach out to Intricity and talk with a specialist about this cultural transformation project.

Here's the Whitepaper: People, Process, Technology, and...


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