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8 Quick Tips to Create a Data Culture

Sometimes organizations do everything right in terms of collecting data, but still struggle to make sense of it all.  

Or they're able to analyze the data, but they don't trust the insights it reveals. 

If that's true for your organization, the missing link might be a data culture -- an environment where people across your organization use data, rather than "gut instinct", to make decisions. 

In this post, we'll give you some helpful tips to create or improve your company's data culture, even if you've struggled to get people on the big data bandwagon before:

1.Get management buy-in

It seems obvious, but simply giving management a login to access your data can be a great reminder that the information is there and waiting to be used. 

2. Get employees involved in collecting data

That also means making it easy for anyone in your company to capture incident and observation data on the go. When employees are involved in collecting data, it creates a sense of ownership. And employees who feel a sense of ownership are more interested in the outcomes of that data and more motivated to actually use it.

3. Make sure you're collecting high-quality data

High-quality data is data that is consistent and usable. Do you have a standardized method for collecting, naming, and storing data? Now is the time to put one in place.

4. Get dashboards

Dashboards make big data less scary by helping you quickly visualize and drill down on trends and patterns in your data. This is key for busy employees and management who have limited time to devote to data analysis. 

5. Store data within reach

If you're trying to eat better, it's smart to keep healthy snacks in the fridge. Similarly, if you're trying to use data better, it's a good idea to keep it where you can get to it easily. That means it's time to stop using Excel and start using a centralized data management system.  

6. Go mobile

Along the same lines, mobile apps make data more accessible and thus more likely to be used. Check out these great mobile apps for EHS managers

7. Make the data relevant

Not everyone needs to see all your data (and in fact, this can pose a security risk).  If you want people to use the data, you need to customize it to them. Look for a customizable dashboard tool that lets you tailor views to certain groups or users so that they only see the information that matters to them. 

8. Lead by example

This can be as simple as tying your next toolbox talk to recent injury and near miss trends. The point is to show your team that you use data -- not just instinct or experience -- to make decisions.

Next steps

Corporate culture can have a huge impact on the success -- or failure -- of your team's initiatives. That's why it's so vital to know which type of corporate culture you have. Take our free quiz, "How Strong is Your EHS Risk Culture?" to see how your organization measures up. 

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