The CDAO’s Perspective: Data-Driven Culture

Comunity Blog
Written by Megan Woodruff

MAY 19, 2022

Data and analytics leaders across Evanta communities continue to share their perspectives with us through our annual survey about their top initiatives and critical priorities. In fact, we have now gotten feedback from more than 300 CDAOs from leading organizations around the world.

In this blog series, we are taking a closer look at their top three priorities for 2022. We shared some of their perspectives on data governance recently, and today, we are looking at their objective to create a data-driven culture, currently ranked second in their priorities for the year. 

What are data and analytics leaders telling us about their progress in creating a data-driven culture?

First, it’s not a new issue, and many of them have been working on it for a few years. In last year’s survey, culture change and data literacy ranked first on their list of priorities. In fact, one CDAO posed the question, “How do you keep the team along with you through the journey of change?” One challenge is reaffirming the importance of data literacy initiatives when there are so many different things going on in their organizations. 

Another data leader noted that it’s hard to get all employees on the same page when they range from those who are completely self-service to those who use some of the tools to those who don’t use the data at all. 

Another CDAO reflected, “In order to drive culture change, data literacy needs to be viewed through an employee lens. How does data literacy create impact? How [do we] overcome slow employee adoption when business change is gradual?”

These are CDAOs’ top goals for data-driven culture:

Data and analytics leaders also shared their challenges in transforming into a data-driven culture. One CDAO said, “It's not that it's a new construct, but in a multiyear journey, you need to continue to execute.” 

Here are CDAOs’ top challenges in creating a data-driven culture:

Are CDAOs searching for technology and services to help in their journey to create a more data-driven culture? Data and analytics leaders rank “skills and literacy training” 8th overall in their list of investment priorities in 2022 with 38% indicating they plan to invest in this area this year. Of those who do plan to spend on skills and literacy training, 83% plan to do so in the next 12 months.

What’s next as CDAOs continue to drive this initiative forward? One told us that they’re most interested in “driving agile into the world of data and using agile as a way of working with data. That is the culture change we're trying to focus on.” 

Another executive shared that they can see the change that has taken place at the Board and senior leadership levels, saying, “They finally had this epiphany that data is important. Data professionals used to talk about the importance. Now the C-level is talking about data as an asset.” 

The topic of data culture will be featured on the agenda at these CDAO Executive Summits this spring: 

Boston CDAO Executive Summit on June 8th.

Dallas CDAO Executive Summit on June 14th.

Southern California CDAO Executive Summit on June 16th.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to discuss this topic with your CDAO peers, check out all of our upcoming summits and discussions across Evanta CDAO communities here.

Megan Woodruff headshot

Megan Woodruff

Associate Content Director at Evanta, a Gartner Company

by CDAOs, for CDAOs

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