Creating and Leading a Data-Driven Culture: Turning Complex Data into Insights Everywhere

by   |   April 27, 2017 5:30 am   |   1 Comments

Guy Levy-Yurista, Head of Product at Sisense

Guy Levy-Yurista, Head of Product at Sisense

One of the major challenges every modern business is encountering today is the acceleration of the pace at which it needs to be run – and the reality is that it’s only getting faster. There is a new generation of technology appearing on the world’s stage every three years now, and with all this new technology arriving at such a rapid pace, more data is being created for businesses to analyze and gain business insights from. Better yet this is not a silo’d experience, it’s happening across every organization and every department.

What’s happening within organizations, however, is that data silos are being created between these departments. Finance, human resources, marketing etc., are accessing and analyzing only the data they need or create, and keeping it on file for their own use. The issue is that this creates only a partial picture of what’s actually happening across the organization. What should be happening is sharing of data intelligence across the organization to find synergies, create a fuller picture, and to cut down on recreating the proverbial “wheel,” in order to be able to generate new insights to benefit the entire organization. Sharing these fruitful findings of data instead of hoarding them within your own department creates inaccuracies and confusion that can be resolved by creating a data-driven culture.

This is sometimes easier said than done, though. As much as “big data” has been a trending business topic over the past several years, transitioning an entire organization to adopt data-driven decision making can take time, education and resources. According to a recent study, only 37 percent of companies have found success in adopting a data-driven culture, even though a majority recognize that this is a requirement in today’s digital era. Let’s take a look at some ways companies can obtain this goal:

Lead by example

The DNA of an organization starts at the top and typically flows from there – building a data-driven culture is no different. The CEO, CIO, CTO or whomever responsible should not only ensure that personnel feel empowered to pursue data insights, but do it themselves as well. Being an agent of change is important when it comes to implementing something new that can seem complex. If you don’t practice what you preach, you’re limiting opportunities for data-driven decision making within your organization. By adopting a data-driven routine into your workday, you’re significantly impacting the results and decisions of an organization, and showing your employees how to do the same. Don’t just lead the data revolution – embrace it.

Once embraced at the top, flowing education throughout the organization is important – especially with data and new technical practices. Educating the organization to begin to think differently about data, how to use it and the ultimate value can lead to a shift in culture, leading to data nirvana.

Additionally, having the leaders of an organization using data to translate into insights is great, but the practice of “sharing is caring” as you will learn below, plays into this as well. Keeping data only at the top doesn’t benefit an entire organization. When a leader shares insights emerging from a new practice or technology, it will impress a level of importance upon the larger body for these insights and ultimately empower them to pursue the same insights for their positions. When employees feel empowered to pursue data, game-changing things will happen, giving everyone the power of insights everywhere.

Power to the people

Employees need to feel empowered to mine data at will and share findings with colleagues without the need to create a huge IT project of it. A big hurdle here is that many companies feel that obtaining data insights is a cumbersome activity that needs heavy involvement from IT. Especially for small- and medium-size businesses, they face a conundrum since they have limited financial and IT resources to aggregate and analyze data to begin with – but more than ever, data analytics is proving to be crucial to their business. Even employees are understanding the need to embrace data in their workflows, but struggle to understand how they can access it.

Data is no longer a tool to be used just by the IT and technical staff within organizations, though. Self-service technology solutions are on the rise to help organizations analyze their data without the need for heavy IT involvement – creating data accessibility for the entire organization. This can be the answer to empower employees to feel more comfortable with data in their every day jobs and ultimately make use of data to drive business value.

Sharing is caring

Once employees feel comfortable pulling and playing with data, it needs to be shared across an organization for further collaboration and innovation. This is where we turn complex data into insights everywhere – a common hurdle businesses face.

It’s important to create an environment or specific processes for where data lives and to put it into a pool that can come from various lines of business – both data in and data out – to maintain a collaborative engagement. Data should be able to be mashed up from multiple sources in a smart way – when this happens, insights emerge. Implementing state-of-the-art technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning can help further disseminate insight across the organization automatically – making every employee smarter.


Guy Levy-Yurista carries a unique mix of skills acquired over 25 years of experience in startup, venture capital and Fortune 500 environments, and specializes in commercializing advanced technologies in dynamic market environments. Guy currently serves as the Head of Product at Sisense, where he most recently led the launch of Sisense BI Everywhere, an initiative bringing IoT, AI and Machine Learning technologies to business intelligence. Prior to this, Guy served as the Executive Vice President for the Usher Mobile Identity program with MicroStrategy, where he productized and launched a powerful Identity Intelligence tool. Prior to his role with MicroStrategy, Guy served as the Chief Technology Officer for AirPatrol, was part of the executive team who sold an MDM company into McAfee, and led multiple teams with AOL and several other local startup companies. Guy is an experienced entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He also holds a PhD degree in Physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel, and an MBA degree from the Wharton business school in the University of Pennsylvania.


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One Comment

  1. Chris Pehura
    Posted May 2, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Awesome points. Rather than leading by example, I think what behaviors can I demonstrate that people in my environment will quickly emulate. Then I lead by exhibiting the behavior.

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