5 steps to creating a data-driven environment for employees

5 steps to creating a data-driven environment for employees

According to McKinsey & Company, by 2025 employees will leverage data to optimize nearly every aspect of their work.

And yet, research by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services suggests that today only 7% of organizations fully equip their teams with the tools and resources needed to drive decision-making and autonomy.

To remain competitive, companies will have to redesign processes and organizational structures to create a data-driven workplace that empowers frontline employees to make decisions based on hard data, in a self-service fashion.

In light of the reality that workers are quitting in unprecedented numbers, this fact further highlights the need to design agile processes that enable, both, new and existing employees to make data-led decisions quickly – with minimal to no training – to help them execute flawlessly from day one.

Listed below are five steps you can begin implementing this year, to gain a competitive edge and enable your frontline workforce to make better, faster data-driven decisions:

1. Leadership support - Executive leadership needs to be vocal about the idea of frontline empowerment. Ensuring that all management levels get behind this effort will help set a new tone and dismantle reluctant data gatekeepers.

2. Opening access to data - Allowing the frontline to access data related to their metrics, without barriers, must be a common goal across all departments. Employees should be encouraged to tell their managers what data is important to them, so the organization can make it available to them.

3. Adjusting security measures - Security and governance should be incorporated into new processes, to equip frontline workers with both autonomy and seamless access to the data they need. Clear security guidelines should be set forth to provide clarity, remove bureaucracy, and accelerate the time it takes to roll out integrations.

4. Providing data training - One-to-many data training should be a priority—not just to teach workers how to use new analytics tools but also to show them how to effectively maximize value from the insights gained through such technologies.

5. Supporting facilitators - Frontline managers and supervisors need to be armed with tools that allow them to empower frontline employees to ditch intuition and guesswork and leverage data to make more informed decisions that drive business success.

At the most empowering organizations, employees are not just able to take action on data, they’re given the freedom to go beyond the boundaries of what their jobs encompass.

Moving away from a hierarchical work environment to a more distributed and democratic one is the only way to create a culture where frontline employees can make faster, better data-led decisions and help the organization achieve its strategic goals and thrive.


  • McKinsey & Company – The Data-Driven Enterprise of 2025.
  • Harvard Business Review Analytics Service – The New Decision Makers, Equipping Frontline Workers for Success.
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