What is data-driven working?

Make decisions based on data

  • Article
  • Data Analytics
Rogier Kamer development manager Digital Power
Rogier Kamer
Development Manager
3 min
01 Mar 2021

In our field we are regularly asked whether we want to help organsations to work data-driven. To answer and help with this, it is important to understand how we look at the explanation of data-driven working. At Digital Power, we assume that data-driven working is equivalent to making decisions based on data. Although this may seem like a simple description, there is much more to it!

First of all, there is a definition issue. What is meant by 'decisions' within the organisation where you work? What decisions are made? Which ones can be taken, which ones fall within the responsibility? Also think of decisions that you can discover from the available data. And once you have made decisions, has the outcome been measured?

Once this is clear, the next step can be taken.

The demand for data 

Now that we know the specific definition of data-driven working for the organisation in question, we can determine what data we need to make our decisions. The basic principle here is that you find out whether the data is collected, needs to be processed and is already accessible. From here on, more questions come to us, many of which revolve around infrastructure; where is our data, should we combine it and how do we get it to the right place?

In addition to the infrastructure, it is also important to clearly describe what the data means. The metadata. This can be put in Master Data Management (MDM) or, for example, in a data framework. It helps us create a place where we can agree on what our data means.

Finally, an important part of data-driven working is in the training, culture and processes of the people throughout the organisation. But this has nothing to do with the definition of data-driven working and will be better explained in a separate article.

What is not data-driven working? 

Now that we have explained what data-driven working is, it is also important to show what it is not. Practice often shows that methods or solutions are confused with data-driven working.

For example, we see that sending out a weekly dashboard, performing A/B tests or having machine learning models is seen as data-driven work. These resources can certainly contribute to a data-driven organisation, but in themselves you do not work data-driven. However, these examples can serve as an excellent first step in a data-driven organisation.

Starting with data-driven working? Ask the right questions!

It should now be clear what data-driven working is and what is not in our view. In essence, asking the right question is the start of data-driven working. Having data and insights alone is not enough. It is about making decisions based on this data.

Do you want to exchange ideas about the possibilities of data-driven for your organisation? Contact us. 

This is an article by Rogier Kamer, Data Strategy & Data Academy Manager at Digital Power

Rogier is a pragmatic analyst to the bone. "Start with the basics and work from there to the future" is his credo. His heart lies in transferring knowledge and setting up processes to improve online understanding. In addition, he is always looking for opportunities to increase the value of online and to emphasise the importance of web analytics.

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