5 Steps to create a Data Driven Culture

The combination of Data and Artificial Intelligence is disrupting several industries. Your company should start with a Data Driven Culture.

In January of 2016, the largest taxi company in San Francisco filed for bankruptcy. The traditional Yellow Cab was not able to survive to competitors like Uber and Lyft.

Yellow Cab was not able to survive with competitors like Uber and Lyft

The main innovation they (Uber and Lyft) brought to the taxi industry was the use of Data and Artificial Intelligence, and by doing so they are now able to:

  • Advise drivers to to be in certain hotspots during certain times (predict where customers will call).
  • Match closest driver with the customer to minimize wait time and maximize driver utilization and earnings.
  • Change pricing as a function of demand.
  • Tell drivers when to start/stop working.
  • Maintain high quality of services (drivers who score below a 4.4 on a 5.0 scale risk deactivation).
“In just four years after Uber was founded, its San Francisco revenues totaled more than three times all the revenues of all the taxi cab companies in the city! Blind Yellow Cab drivers are completely outgunned in the competitive transportation market. They don’t have what it takes to compete: Data”.

The use of Data and Artificial intelligence is a reality already in several companies and it is transforming and reshaping industries. If your company is still trusting on opinions, conjecture, gut and HIPPO’s (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) to make decisions, there is a high chance that in the near future you will be outgunned, just like the yellow cab company.

The use of technology alone is not enough; you must create a data driven culture, a culture that allows all your employees to explore data for new ideas and hypotheses, to decide weather you should create a new campaign or develop a new feature. Here is list of 5 steps on how to create a Data Driven Culture for your organization:

1) Create a Data Supply Chain for your organization

Everybody in your company must be looking at and analyzing the same data. There should be a single version of the truth, not many. It doesn’t make sense to have engineering looking at one particular dataset and your marketing and sales team using a spreadsheet that now contains a different version of the data. Create a supply chain of data that is constantly updated and represents the truth.

It is important to make the data available to everybody (respecting the privacy requirements that every industry and company has).

Fluig Data allows companies to create a Data Supply Chain democratizing access to data and AI

At TOTVS Labs we are building a Data Platform (Fluig Data) that provides this supply chain of Data for every organization. This platform can connect to any source of data, i.e., Cloud applications, on-premises, apps, spreadsheets, databases, etc, building a single source of truth and empowering teams with Artificial Intelligence.

2) Define and build Data Models

Data models are the core for a data driven company. You need to define the model and fields for the entities you wish to manage, such as customers, leads & prospects, sales, etc. Also pay attention to quality control for your models.

Define Data Models for the Data you wish to manage in your organization

3) Define Data Dictionaries

What is the formula that defines your business? What is a customer for you? How do you calculate Monthly Recurring Revenue, Customer Acquisition Cost and Long Term Value? Define all the terms clearly and spread them throughout your company. So when you say Monthly Recurring Revenue, or Net Promoter Score, everyone will know how these numbers are calculated and where to get them.

A Data dictionary should clearly define all the terms and metrics used in your organization

A company’s data dictionary is a very important tool to educate new employees and to provide a single source of truth whenever a metric needs to be clarified.

4) Build Data Teams and Foster Data Literacy

From its 4,000 employees, Facebook has over 1,000 employees querying data every day to make decisions. At Intuit, its founder Scott Cook stated: “Stop listening to your boss and listen to the data”.

At TOTVS our Data teams are organized in Matrix, giving us local reach and standards

At TOTVS our Data teams follow a matrix model. They are physically based within our several product teams so that they can better understand use cases and stay in close contact with our customers, but they all report to our Data Team at TOTVS Labs. By doing that we guarantee the exchange of best practices and make sure that the whole team is going in the same direction.

5) Use your Data: Define actionability and tell stories

Before creating a dashboard or even measuring something, think about the story you want to tell, or the hypothesis you wish to prove. Always ask “what decisions would that analysis inform?”

Tell stories with your data and use it for every decision at your company

Once you have identified the questions and the reason, now it is time to tell stories based on data, and instead of relying on gut or opinions, you can now rely on data to make every decision at your company.



Tunguz, Tomasz; Bien, Frank (2016–05–26). Winning with Data: Transform Your Culture, Empower Your People, and Shape the Future. Wiley.

Ries, Eric (2011–09–13). The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses . Random House, Inc.

Fluig Data: https://www.fluigdata.com/web/