The importance of building a data-centric culture

The importance of building a data-centric culture | Insurance Business

The importance of building a data-centric culture

With data and analytics as the next business frontier, it is increasingly important that it is embedded not only in an organization’s operations, but also in its culture. Building a data-centric culture is important to embrace its benefits and break down silos which prevent an organization from realising a clear and united vision.

According to Steve Rhee (pictured), chief digital officer of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., a data-centric strategy must be at the core of the digital transformation journeys companies embark on.

“The best way to service customers is not only an excellent digital customer experience, but it’s also providing data that’s relevant, timely, and impactful,” he told Corporate Risk and Insurance. “Your company culture must gear itself on building a foundation using data, and digital together. It has to be part of the fabric of your strategy so you can have a positive impact to your organization, partners, and clients.”

In today’s landscape, if an organization is unable to adopt such a culture, Rhee says that it may encounter problems in several areas. These include making it harder to do business with, struggling to reach the right audience, more complicated business processes, and difficulty in showing customers the value of data the organization holds.

The importance of data was crucially evident when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged and changed every industry overnight, Rhee added.

“The lack of a data-driven culture will often cause lag time, the inability to pivot, and your organization may create friction and become more difficult to do business with,” he said.  “Can you imagine if we had no data around COVID-19? No test data, no results, no ability to track positivity rates, no contact tracing, no symptoms tracking. While our response as a country can be debated, any progress made wouldn’t have been possible without the data. It’s the same for any business, you must be data-driven at every level, and it must be at the core of your culture.”

So how can organizations build a data-centric culture?

“It’s important that the data-driven culture is enterprise-wide, and there has to be a tangible benefit to the employees,” Rhee said. “Data has to drive better outcomes not only for your clients, but also your employees.”

To achieve this, Rhee advises business leaders to ask the following questions:

  • Can we make a task simpler?
  • Can we make a process more efficient?
  • Can we offer an additional employee benefit?
  • Does the data provide insight into developing a new product or service that will have a positive impact on our company as well as employees?

“This can be as simple as offering some vision of what’s possible, how it benefits the company/employees and how they can help drive that culture,” he said.