Building a data-driven team: Top 5 tips for leaders

Building a data-driven team: Top 5 tips for leaders
Image: Freepik

In running a business, making decisions based on factual and accurate data is extremely important. It helps set the tone to not just how you operate, but also understand the results that are impacting the bottom line. As a boss or team leader, you know just how crucial data is in whatever you do, no matter the industry.

After all, data culture is decision culture.

Take a look at your marketing and sales strategy, for example. You rely on social listening and analytics to understand results and make way for more effective approaches – the same way having a database of prospective client personas is crucial to the success of any sales campaign.

As one of Asia’s premier subscription activation agencies, SalesWorks is entrusted by diverse names in the region to drive strategic acquisition campaigns. Different businesses require different tactics — which is why we rely on rich data to be at the backbone of our solutions, and why we can confidently say that data is indeed king.

So, with that in mind, how do you build a team in which data is at the heart of everything they do? Let SalesWorks help you out with a couple of pointers in this article.

Here are the top five tips we’ve compiled for you to help you cultivate a data-driven culture in your team.

1. Establish clear goals

Establish clear goals
Image: Lystloc

How can a team work together if there is no clear endgame? Be clear about what the goals are and why they matter, i.e. increased brand awareness leads to greater market share.

Next, clarify ownership of said goals within the team members so they are able to work by managing, analysing and acting based on data findings.

2. Invest in tools to succeed

Knowing what to do and why they need to do it is a good first step, but implementation is just as important. In order to build a data-driven culture, you need to make sure the basics are there. In this case, it means ensuring that there are tools in place through which your team can access said data.

Starting out with entry-level dashboards that track things like campaign conversions and traffic generation contributes a lot to the numbers later on, such as getting an idea of what your cost per acquisition and customer acquisition value is.

3. Lead by example

Lead by example
Image: Freepik

As a business owner or team leader in charge, you first need to understand what data you’re looking for, the goals you seek to achieve and how those in combination impact the business. Simply put, you cannot afford to fall behind and must stay on the ball at all times.

More importantly, you need to be able to demonstrate understanding and expertise in interpreting data and making decisions based on data. Demonstrate what data can do and how to best leverage it, and your team will be more inclined to start testing it out on their own.

4. Measuring the qualitative

Not everything is as clear-cut as counting traffic to a landing site or customer sign-up lists. There are campaign aspects that are qualitative, such as content and editorial, for example. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot measure them; the metrics are just different and can be found in relation to other tangible and measurable metrics within the broader strategy.

Things like measuring the value, impact or success of a content design can be tied closely with click-through rates, downloads, sign-ups and more – it serves a purpose at the top of the funnel to pique awareness and build customer interest.

5. Communicate results

There always needs to be a bit of show-and-tell when it comes to cultivating and immersing a data-driven culture within teams.

Get in the habit of explaining analytical choices and where it lands – go through results to show how data can provide evidence to back up hypotheses, and create expectations for what it really means to root decisions in data.

What business leaders have had to share about data culture

What business leaders have had to share about data culture
Image: Lattice

“Focus on the outcomes and the business objectives. Say, ‘OK, for this outcome, first let’s look at the landscape of data and what kind of analytics and what kind of insights I need.’ Then act on it rapidly and deliver that back to the team or the customer. This is the digital feedback loop: use the insights, ideas, and innovation generated by the team or your customer as an accelerator for improving the capability and product and service that you already have.” – Ibrahim Gokcen, chief digital officer, Maersk

“The best advice I have for senior leaders trying to develop and implement a data culture is to stay very true to the business problem: What is it and how can you solve it? If you simply rely on having huge quantities of data in a data lake, you’re kidding yourself. Volume is not a viable data strategy. The most important objective is to find those business problems and then dedicate your data management efforts toward them. Solving business problems must be a part of your data strategy.” – Rob Casper, chief data officer, JPMorgan Chase

“We were able to start with a fresh piece of paper and say, “OK, given what we think is going to happen in the industry for the next five years, how would we set up a department?” That’s where we started: “OK, are we going to call it analytics or are we going to call it something else?” We decided to name it “decision sciences.” Because really what it was about for us is: How we are going to capture the information and develop models that are going to help the decision-makers, whether it’s the general manager, the farm director who runs the minor league system, or the scouting director who makes the draft decisions on draft day. How are we going to provide them with the information that they need to do a better job?” – Jeff Luhnow, general manager, Houston Astros

Bonus tip: Work with a seasoned partner like SalesWorks

Bonus tip: Work with a seasoned partner like SalesWorks

As more businesses adopt this data-driven mindset and approach, it’s natural that the market is then saturated with tools and platforms that provide you with the capability to capture and analyse data. But actual implementation and decision-making based on data may take a bit more than you think if it’s still a murky area of interpretation for you.

Partnering with a seasoned and trusted expert in sales and marketing like SalesWorks can help you get your foundations right, and go the distance not only where data is concerned, but in all aspects of marketing.

Feeling inspired for a career shift? Quality and ambition are at the heart of everything we do here at SalesWorks, that’s why we are known in the industry with more than 25 years of credibility in helping businesses build and boost their brands – backed by data, of course.

There’s also the opportunity to work with us, as part of our team! We’re on the lookout for driven individuals looking to shape their own high-performing careers as our brand ambassadors.

So whatever it is you may need – be it support in building a working team culture rooted in data, or even a place to start your own career journey, drop us a note so we can get in touch!