Technology is only getting bigger. Our society of smartphones, wireless sensors, artificial intelligence, and mobile shopping demonstrates just how huge technology is today in our lives. By 2020, there will be over 44 trillion gigabytes of data. It’s cheaper than ever to store data and make it work for you.

As you can see, data is increasingly important in our daily lives as consumers, but it’s also essential in the world of business. Many companies around the globe are turning to big data scientists and leaders to gain insight into their decision making. While it’s impossible to predict the future, big data brings us one step closer to expecting what will happen next.

In order for a company to embrace all of the benefits of big data, there needs to be a shift in our corporate culture. This data-driven decision making needs to be engrained into the culture of the entire company. While having data scientists of your own is an important first step, it’s not the only step. Keep reading to learn the best ways to adopt a data-driven corporate culture of your own.

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Expose Data to All Employees

Many leaders make the mistake of thinking big data is only for the executives and data scientists. While it’s certainly true that these executives and decision-makers should have access to these figures, it’s important to widen the boundaries. The future of our entire workplace focuses on the utilization of data. That means access needs to be organization-wide to data and insights.

Allowing all employees across levels to participate in the acquisition and understanding of data leads to greater efficiency and more room to grow. Having more perspectives open to the same research and information is key. You never know what someone might bring to the table when faced with a business challenge.

Since data is so vital to all aspects of business today, we need to think about it in new ways. Adding new positions for data alone isn’t enough. It needs to belong to all positions from the ground up. Everywhere from sales to marketing can benefit from a data-focused approach.

View Data as an Asset

Today, too many companies fail to see data as an asset. The reality is that data holds its own value. It should be viewed the same as any other asset like equipment or employees. Learning how to utilize this asset to make the most of your efforts across the board is essential to growing in today’s competitive market.

Educate your employees on the importance of big data. Though data scientists dedicate their careers to understanding these metrics, that doesn’t mean the basics can’t be broken down for all levels of management. This is an asset that shouldn’t be hidden away.

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Encourage Data Sharing

Too often, data remains spread out and disconnected. It’s either in a complicated web of Excel spreadsheets or hidden away on an executive’s computer. It’s not centralized and shared. Once the data is centralized on an easy to access cloud platform, it creates a much clearer picture for all employees. This article dives deeper into the best ways to secure and monitor your cloud data.

Company culture today is closed off. It’s a culture of hiding information for fear of it getting into the wrong hands. This needs to be broken down to encourage the sharing of data. Data is knowledge and knowledge is power, after all, so put that knowledge to good use. You want to empower your employees to use this data in their daily lives as a way to improve their decision-making skills.

Create a System of Integrity

Not all data is created equal, unfortunately, and this has given much of it a bad reputation. Lack of data integrity can break the trust of an organization, but this shouldn’t be the end. When data is improperly prepared and organized, it disrupts the decision-making process. Remember how we said data can help you predict the future? This all fails if you’re unable to segment and present your data in an accurate way.

What’s the solution? To understand what makes data “trustable” or “unreliable.” According to the FDA’s Data Integrity Guidance Document, data should be legible, original, accurate, and recorded as it was observed. There will always be some risk of data integrity. Protect your business by taking steps to lower this risk, and encourage employees to value company data.

Use Your Insights

Finally, it’s time to put this data to good use. Once you begin to gain insight from your analytics projects, it’s time to take action. This is the biggest step that shows your organization you take data seriously. This is when all employees can learn firsthand how to apply big data in valuable ways, and they can develop ways to apply this understanding to their own practices.

Celebrate any big data wins at your company. Reward the employees who jump into data and find new ways to make these insights work for them. Changing your company culture won’t happen overnight, but it shouldn’t be impossible as long as you’re willing to promote this new approach.

A Culture of Data

In your organization, you want all employees to know how to make strong decisions. This is key to building a company that lasts into the future. There’s more competition than ever, and utilizing big data is one of the most powerful ways to get away. However, changing your company culture takes time and effort across all layers of business.

Start from the top down. Use big data yourself and promote its adaptation amongst all players in your company. Data isn’t about building more walls, it’s about tearing them down. Bring data into your company to see for yourself just how powerful it can be. You have to start with action if you want to see its benefits.

An organization based on facts, figures, and trends is one that will outlive the competitors. It’s the best way to future-proof your business in this constantly evolving time. You don’t know 100% what will happen tomorrow, but thanks to data you can bring yourself one step closer.