Revving up a Data-Driven Culture: Anthony Bucci

DSC_0067Three co-founders. A start-up. A long-term commitment to experimentation and testing. Business began to blossom, and today, the organization is entering a period of hyper-growth. This has been Anthony’s enviable experience shepherding www.revzilla.com. In the beginning, nobody needed to convince co-founder Anthony of data’s value, but he has found it’s not necessarily leadership he needs to persuade to make testing and experimenting a company-wide effort.

Anthony has learned letting institutional knowledge for testing reside with top leadership is not an effective organizational strategy. While all levels within a company need to be involved in testing efforts, he encourages businesses to identify a process, define a framework, then “make sure someone with the bandwidth can at least own it.”

Speaking from the position of leadership, Anthony has more to say about fitting data, testing and experimentation into a business’s mindset. Give him a listen.

Using Data in Realtime: an Interview with Alex Miller, QVC

Entering HyperspaceLucky are those who do not need to convince their business’s leadership of the value of using big data strategies to shape relationships with the customer within and across digital platforms. In 1986, the shopping channel QVC began broadcasting—in essence, operating in real-time. As Alex explains,

If you’ve ever gone backstage behind QVC and you’ve watched the live show from the producer’s desk, you understand you are in data Nirvana. It’s flowing data on three or four different screens; they are helping us understand: What is the customer really thinking right now? What are they interested in? What they like, what they don’t like? As a company, we’ve always been awash in data.

In taking the next step from analytics to the possibilities the big data era offers businesses, even organizations that value data-driven stories to improve customer relationships will have kinks to smooth out. The biggest challenge Alex identifies is how to balance the ways of using enormous amounts of data while continuing to place a high value on twenty-seven years of institutional knowledge. At times, it comes down to “letting the data tell you what it is really trying to tell you and not trying to shape the data to tell you what you want to hear.”

Listen to Alex talk about testing and experimentation as a data-driven company negotiates becoming more data-driven.

photo by: Éole

How to Adopt a Data Driven Culture with Slava Sambu, OfficeMax {Video}

We took a few moments to sit together at the Monetate Agility Summit to chat about what it takes to get your organization to use the data to enhance the customer experience. This video interview is just 5 minutes long:

One of the things I admire most about the OfficeMax culture is their use of YouTube to test which video would be used on TV for their Penny Pranks campaign a few years back. This is an organization that understands how to use the data.

Tips on becoming a Data-Driven Organization

You might be grappling with how to justify a shift to data-driven strategies within your organization. The most likely reason you’re grappling is that your business culture is resistant—perhaps highly resistant—to change. You are in good company (as it were). Slava of Office Max offers some advice to facilitate your discussions with senior leadership and other heads of departments.

When describing the nature of a corporate culture that values and supports an effective digital strategy, Slava identifies three must-have attributes for any data-driven organization.

Find the language appropriate to the way your organization ‘speaks,’ and help leadership understand how a high level of cooperation within the company and a focus on data promotes business goals.

1. You want a culture of inclusion. Everyone needs to understand what things have to happen to accomplish the strategy. Everyone needs buy-in; this includes creative, marketing, analytics and senior leadership.

2. You want a culture of ownership. Everyone needs to own the results testing and optimization tactics generate. Everyone needs to understand them and how the organization is going to use them to accomplish the broader strategy.

3. You want a culture of responsibility. Across the board, strategies need clarifying, tactics need defining. Determining success means defining success. Data teams always need to outline what tests and optimization will accomplish within the larger business strategy, and then deliver on the promises. If developments necessitate change, teams need specific ways they can reevaluate and possibly adjust the strategy.

Slava has a lot more to say, too. Just watch the video.