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How to empower your team through data

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by Alf Inge Johansen

14. Apr 2021, 4 minutes reading time

How to empower your team through data

There are good reasons to be excited by the potential of AI and machine learning. But it is not just robots that thrive when given access to large amounts of insight. Here is how to empower your team through data.

It’s easy to think of digitalization as mostly a technological endeavour, and data-driven processes as something that will ultimately replace humans. More accurately, data is an immensely powerful tool for employees to wield. Having high quality data at our fingertips improves decision-making, boosts efficiency – and increases creativity. 

Productive and motivated

The grand project of any leader is to improve his or her team’s performance. The goal is to keep your employees always moving – making them a little smarter, a little better, and a little more inspired.

The traditional toolkit of achieving this, training, team-building and leading by example, is not going away. But there is a new contender in town: data. Not only does data collection help you track your employee’s performance, allowing you to incentivize and reward in line with their track record. Leveraging data can itself make your employees more productive and motivated, by increasing their agency and sense of decision-ownership.

Getting started

Data-conscious organizations – and especially readers of this blog – know how and where to start their journey towards becoming data-driven. Many find themselves at some point between these 3 stages:

  1. Decide your specific business goals.
  2. When you know which direction you are heading, figure out what data you need to get there.
  3. Once you know what data you need, start collecting them.

Now, this is the stage where many companies start running into trouble. How can we best make sense of this data? Where do they come from, how have they been transformed – and how can we use them in our own business operations? 

While you certainly might be able improve efficiency in various business and/or production processes by simply handing these questions over to data scientists, this does not empower your employees. For that you need data availability.

Lifting the veil 

If all you have is a data lake – in which only your most dedicated engineers splash around – you will not foster the data-driven culture that drives employee empowerment. Broad organizational creativity is lost. However, if you could organize all your data in a single data platform, with which everyone can easily engage, magic happens.

A rich collection of data first becomes a real game-changer when everything in it is accessible. Because hidden in the data lies upside potential, downside risks, trends and success stories. But some of these business opportunities might be invisible to engineers, and glaringly obvious to a sales representative – or the other way around. 

In short: With the right technology, employees from every branch of your organization can interact with powerful data, and through keen eyes and creative minds uncover its potential – and drive your business forward.

Better, smarter, faster

Additionally, because the foundation of insight is sound and solid, employees feel empowered and confident to make decisions upon it. This means that data not only increases the quality of decision-making, but the motivation of every employee to take action. Moreover, this decreases the need for micro-managing, which saves leaders time – and leaves team members with an even greater sense of agency.

Essentially, it is about viewing business intelligence projects as something more than purely technological. You do need the right solutions and the proper implementation. But with that in place, the true value of data is unlocked by your team daring to explore, interact – and act.

Because even in the land of data, the human is still king.

How to make more strategic corporate decisions based on data

Alf Inge Johansen

Alf Inge Johansen

Senior Sales Executive Alf Inge has more than 30 years of experience in the IT industry. Alf Inge is known for his good mood and commitment to everything he does. He has both technical and mercantile experience with the use of IT in a number of industries. In BI Builders, he tries to convince customers that they should automate as much work as possible and make better use of data in reporting and analysis.

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