How a Banking Organisation Drove Data Culture Change Through Training
For many organisations, it comes as a shock when they roll out a fresh new data strategy and policies, appoint data stewards and owners, and then….nothing happens. Nothing, nil, zip, nada,….. A huge part of successful data management is your organisational culture – not just your data culture. Data training is key to bringing your business strategy to life and effecting true cultural change. Here’s how a banking services organisation went about it with Robinson Ryan’s support.
“The biggest challenge we typically see in data culture is that data stewards can’t get executives engaged and interested in data,” said Lloyd Robinson, Director of Robinson Ryan and the Institute of Data Management. “You need to show them how data is important to their strategy and to the future of the company. To get executives on board with data strategy, you need to ring their bell.”
Selling Data Back to the Organisation to Effect Change
Lloyd explains how the company worked with a banking services organisation to achieve cultural change. “When I come into this situation, I consider myself a trainer and change advocate. I’m here to sell your data policies back to the organisation in a way they will take action,” Lloyd said.
The first step is to review existing policies and processes, link them to international best practice (the DMBoKv2) and create stories for the organisation that can be delivered via contextualised training.
A Coach the Coach Approach
Then it’s about coaching data stewards to act as change agents to help in delivering the message to executives. Lloyd explains: “I said to the data stewards that I would do the executive presentation and they would run the tutorials. In that way, we create an experience that looks like training, but what we’re really doing is energising and mobilising executive support, building relationships, and creating demand for your skills.”
As for the presentations, Lloyd stressed that it’s not about regurgitating best practice. “Any executive training must be fast-paced. Then we need to make it highly relevant to the organisation’s corporate strategy and how data can support it.”
In working with the data stewards, Lloyd’s aim was to transform them into internal data coaches. “We met six times before the executive meeting,” he said. “Each steward had to prepare their tutorial and link it to major themes within the business.”
Getting Data Stewards Battle Ready
In providing training for data stewards, Lloyd says case studies are key. “It’s like medieval knights practising with wooden swords to get battle ready. We build case studies that are relevant to the client, and specifically their executive leadership team, as well as their industry and get data stewards to practice with these practice data management problems. We then transition to them driving workshop topics to solve real data challenges.
We aim to lift their perspective beyond processing data. We want them to imagine a better future where the data issues they face today are resolved. Ultimately, data stewards should act as a centre of excellence that can find the real value in data and discern where to focus attention where it will have the most impact.”
The key outcome of contextualised data training is to mobilise your data management capability.
For the banking services organisation, proof that this was achieved was evident when executives invited data stewards into their projects immediately after the tutorials.