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Image representing environmental factors - governance (legal and ethical oversight), Leadership (clarity and accountability) and culture (open and adaptable).r


Conversations about using data to drive value invariably get around to discussing the culture in organisations. No matter how good your data solution is, an unhealthy culture will stop you from realising the full value. Just as a seed needs fertile soil to grow, your data opportunity needs a healthy culture to succeed.

There is an often used (and abused) quote, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Whatever its origin, what it alludes to is that strategy is all well and good but if you don’t have a culture that embraces the strategy and is passionate about executing it, it’s going to be hard to realise the benefits.

As well as culture, some other environmental things to consider are leadership and governance.

  • Leadership - who is going to lead the change?

  • Governance - are we compliant with the laws? who is going to make sure we do this ethically?

Some questions to consider include:

Image showing the questions outlined in this step Environment questions (Click to expand)

Let’s use the workbooks to bring this alive. How would you answer these questions?


  • How you find and remove any hidden bias in your data?
  • Are your decision making processes open and transparent i.e. no “black box” decision making or unethical decisions
  • Will you include the impacted individuals when designing operational changes?


  • What happens when the data challenges your instincts?
  • How will you react when the data identifies blind spots in your thinking?
  • Can you create the environment for the data team to succeed?
  • How will you protect the team from the “politics” of the organisation?


  • Are you an organisation that will listen to what the data is telling you?
  • Will you reflect on what the insight tells you, or will you argue with the data?
  • Will you embrace the insights generated, or will you hide from them?

In short, have you created the environment that will allow your organisation to succeed?

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Introduction to Data for Business Leaders

The Data Lab

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