Does your organization possess a culture of analytics? How would you know if you did? Here’s one litmus test suggested in a study done by “The Economist” and funded by Tableau Software entitled “Fostering a Data-Driven Culture“:
At your organization, is working with data somebody else’s job? Perhaps a data specialist or IT department. Is it treated similar to, say, IT security? Or is it everybody’s job?
It’s not unusual in many organizations to have decision makers rely upon others to get the data from transactional systems to provide the source for analytic work. That’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m asking is, who actually performs the analysis and provides results to decision makers?
It’s All About the Questions
It is well known that Google possesses a culture of analytics. Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt, says, “We run the company by questions, not by answers. So in the strategy process, we’ve so far formulated 30 questions that we have to answer. You ask it as a question, rather than a pithy answer, and that stimulates conversation. Out of the conversation comes innovation. Innovation is not something that I just wake up one day and say, ‘I want to innovate.’ I think you get a better innovative culture if you ask it as a question.”
As I read Mr. Schmidt’s quote about the culture at Google, I believe that rather than creating a culture of analytics, a greater purpose would be to strive to create a culture of curiosity. A culture of curiosity coupled with analytic skills spawns innovation. Innovation spawns opportunity. Who wouldn’t like to say they have fostered a culture of curiosity? Would you run your company on questions as Eric Schmidt does? Why not?