Key Takeaways:

  • At many companies, the C-Suite has high hopes for data and analytics integration.
  • But, a recent study says involvement and buy-in by senior leadership is more crucial than you might think.
  • If you’re looking to improve your company’s analytics efforts, here are four ways senior leadership can help.

In any company, the C-Suite often has high hopes for data and analytics integration —as it’s just good strategy and can have a positive impact on revenues, margins and efficiency. But, a recent McKinsey Global survey suggests that the involvement and buy-in by senior executive leadership is more crucial to the success of these programs than one might think.

A large majority of the respondents believe in the power of a strong data and analytics program, yet are having mixed success in meeting their goals and objectives. For those lagging behind, the survey suggests that a lack of strategy or tools isn’t necessarily to blame. Instead, the biggest obstacles noted are a lack of leadership support and communication, ill-fitting organizational structures, and troubles finding and retaining top talent for the job.

I’ve talked about the importance of finding and retaining the right talent in the past. Check out Shift Happens: Appealing to Top Talent via Culture and Ways Tech Can Help Attract and Retain Top CRE Talent.

I’ve even covered-off on organizational structures in One Suite Day: When Automation Comes to the C-Suite and CHO: The New CEO?

But today … I think it’s important we throw this back to the executives; that we start at the top. What can the C-Suite do to help foster an environment and culture that helps data and analytics efforts to be successful?  

#1. Get Involved

It today’s workplace —where culture has become more and more important— having senior leadership be involved with their teams is commonplace. As data and analytics programs are implemented, having senior leadership explain the who, what, where, when and why can have big implications in the successful buy-in of the other team members. When people feel they are part of the process, they will feel a sense of ownership. I know I do when that occurs.

#2. Communicate Effectively

Next step? Communicate with purpose — and be effective. Why is this data and analytics program being implemented? What are the expectations? How will it help the company? How will team members be able to do their jobs better and more efficiently?  For me, it’s liberating knowing that when data is properly organized you don't have to ask people questions or for information to do your job. Our industry wastes so much time doing that.

The C-Suite should have a specific roll-out plan that includes ongoing communication — one that makes team members feel like they are actively involved in the process.

#3. Encourage and Support

With ongoing communication should come encouragement and support. Whether it’s a quick email to see how you can better serve your team members or a simple pow-wow that lets team members know you’re available —doing so can bridge the gap between C-Suite expectations and the day-to-day reality of team members.

#4. Share Insights

How’s the program doing? Is it impacting margins, sales, efficiency? Is it really working? Being able to pivot and change course is not a failure, it's being smart about the process. When the C-Suite provides this type of feedback and lets team members know just how well the program is doing —or where it can improve— it encourages adoption and buy-in from the whole team.

When both team members and the C-Suite are firing on all cylinders, great success can be achieved. Getting buy-in and adoption, while fostering the success of any analytics program, means taking the time to get involved, communicate effectively, and encourage, support and share with team members.

No pain no gain. Bite the bullet. We hear these saying all the time, but now our personal lives —as well as our business lives— are changing at the speed of light. We have no choice but to dive in and use these tools to get organized and be the 21st century companies our team members and customers are demanding.

Like this article? You might also enjoy: 5 Ways Senior Leaders Can Use Big Data to Inspire.