Categories Articles, Staffing & Recruiting

By now, you’ve probably seen Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ SlideShare on company culture, which has racked up 11 million views since 2009.

Since then, countless other companies have shared their culture decks with the world in an effort to detail their identity.

HubSpot is one of those companies that has had their culture deck go viral (over 1.7 million views). And in their list of 7 statements describing The HubSpot Culture Code, number 1 is: “We are maniacal about our mission and our metrics.”

HubSpot Culture Code

In other words, HubSpot recognizes how crucial it is to create a data-driven culture. There’s no doubt that thoroughly analyzing metrics and KPIs helped take HubSpot from an idea to an IPO.

Forward-thinking companies understand the importance of leveraging data to drive business decisions.

With so much insightful information at your fingertips, you’d be silly to let it go to waste.

Be Transparent

The first step in creating a data-driven culture is to put your data out in the open. Don’t be afraid of what other people in your company might think about your KPIs. You’re all in this together.

It’s up to senior management to make performance metrics easily accessible to everyone in the company. Once all relevant data has been made available, employees in all departments should be encouraged to look at the numbers and analyze them at will. And whenever possible, data should be heavily considered when making important decisions.

You can’t foster a data-driven culture unless everyone has access to data. If you don’t know where to start, you should look into creating a sales leaderboard.

Ask Metrics-Based Questions

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” —Peter Drucker, father of modern management

Managers need to be able to quantify the performance of their teams and set clear goals in order accurately make assessments. By measuring KPIs and establishing consistent analysis processes, managers and their employees will be on the same page. Pipeline reviews, forecasting meetings, and weekly 1-on-1’s are far more insightful when any question asked is backed by data.

It’s critical to ask questions that can be traced back to data so that everyone in the room understands the problem at hand. By digging deeper into the data together, you’ll be able to find the answer you’re looking for.

Demand Data-Driven Answers

If you’re going to make a point to ask questions based on data, then the answers to those questions better be data-driven as well. It’s not enough to say that an opportunity “feels good” or that a job order is “looks promising.” You need to explain why that’s the case.

The reasoning behind your answers should be heavily rooted in the cold, hard facts. You should be able to pinpoint specific metrics that can justify your explanations. By supporting your answers with data, you can have far more insightful and actionable conversations.

 

Maybe you have a culture deck on SlideShare, maybe you don’t – either way, everyone in your company should be analyzing data to facilitate the decision-making process.

If your business is plagued by subjective, qualitative conversations that rarely involve the discussions of key metrics, then now is the time to make an effort to create a data-driven culture. As they say, better late than never.

To learn more about adopting a company-wide philosophy of leveraging metrics to drive decisions, check out our FREE guide: 6 Steps to Creating a Data-Driven Culture.

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Showing 5 comments
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  • Kyle

    The first step in creating a data-driven culture is to put your data out in the open. Don’t be afraid of what other people in your company might think about your KPIs. You’re all in this together. Think like an entrepreneur – it will help you create more profitable businesses and, hopefully, a happier company.

    You also don’t necessarily need to build an app or software product in order to create good data. The key is to find the tools that are already out there. If you are already working with data or data related tools as part of your core processes, then just move to that category immediately. (In all seriousness, there are a few reasons to move to this category:

    There is more awareness of data in the data science space. There’s much more data there…

  • Quizzma

    [Ed. note: The following are some basic rules of data-driven culture that anyone can apply in a startup.]

    1.) Keep a tight control of your product and team’s personal and non-technical resources. This includes (but is not limited to) having, at most, 6, 7, or 8 people on your team responsible for making decisions (not hiring and firing).

    2.) Be very careful of your personal relationships. People make decisions in a self-selected group of peers. So be careful of who you tell (and how much) to tell.

    3.) Don’t ever get involved with management on things unrelated to your business. For example, never do anything related to sales, strategy, marketing, finance, or production unless you’re a big shot. There’s a good chance you won’t get very far.

    4.) When possible, look for people that you can relate to. This means that hiring is best when there’s a lot of “

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