How to Create a Data-Driven Culture

Video produced by Steve Nathans-Kelly

At Data Summit Connect Fall 2020, Jon Loyens, co-founder of, explored the question of what creates a data-driven culture and offered ips on how to build one. According to Loyens, a data-driven culture uses the data assets and the ecosystem that they've built around it analytics really effectively to drive decisions.

Videos of full presentations from Data Summit Connect Fall 2020, a 3-day series of data management and analytics webinars presented by DBTA and Big Data Quarterly, are also now available for on-demand viewing on the DBTA YouTube channel.

"There is a great book by an author named Tomasz Tunguz called 'Winning with Data' in which he references the idea that you see data in the morning and it changes what you do in the afternoon. And that's really, I think what a lot of companies should aspire to when it comes to building a data-driven culture. It is one that really encourages data literacy, encourages people to make data-driven arguments in that same way that, Jim Barksdale, former CEO of Netscape, used to say, 'Bring data into an argument. If you bring opinions, we're just going to go with mine.'"

The goal, said Loyens, is to create cultures where people understand how to ask questions appropriately.and are able to work around problems using the data on hand and make data driven arguments—and those arguments are listened to and understood.

"We understand that to be a data-driven culture, but what actually creates a data from culture?" asked Loyens. "There are all sorts of products promising to be a silver bullet, to get you to the promised land of having a data-driven culture," said Loyens noting he has seen everything from data warehouses to self server BI tools and data prep tools and everything in-between claiming to be the "magic unlock" that's finally going to get people to having a data-driven culture.

However, he added, "I'm here to tell you it's, there's not one tool that is going to be that magic unlock. It's a lot of hard work. It's a lot of advocacy and a lot of championing the idea of using data appropriately."