How to Form a Data-First Culture for Your Organisation

Data and how companies use it continues to separate the market leaders from the rest. But Marcos Monteiro, Co-Founder of Veezoo, explains how you can create a data-first culture so that your company is able to fully take advantage of one of its greatest assets.

There is no denying that data holds enormous value and power when it comes to driving businesses forward. Yet, many organisations are still not optimising the data to its fullest potential and a lot of this is down to a lack of a data culture.

Data leaders have plenty to do to transform the company into one with a truly data-first culture. Here’s where to begin.

Everyone Should Use Data

The main point in creating a data-first culture is that you’re harnessing an environment that allows everyone to utilise data in their day-to-day roles. Not only with the objective of being able to evaluate activity but also to help them identify opportunities and trends that will help drive the business forward and avoid making mistakes.

You need to encourage a workplace where you shift the mindset of data is dull to data can truly make a difference to your job and the business.

Use examples of how data has helped introduce new processes or services for the company. Encourage the team to try to identify new trends or areas with the company data.

Set the Tone

In order to cultivate a successful data-first culture, the entire team must commit to it from the top down. You often see companies where initiatives are only for the team members to carry out and not for the C-Suite. But if you want to have a data centred company you have to lead from the front, and this will get buy-in from the rest of the company who will start to follow suit.

Of course, this approach may require owning up to when mistakes have been made. Use examples of when data hasn’t been a part of the decision-making process which then led to a negative outcome.

On the other hand, use data as supporting evidence when communicating the likes of new products or features to the team so they can see why that conclusion has been made.

You need to encourage a workplace where you shift the mindset of data is dull to data can truly make a difference to your job and the business.

Marcos Monteiro
CEO & Co-Founder, Veezoo


Source the Best Solutions for Your Team

In order to create a data-first culture, you need everyone to be able to easily access the data. But when you mention data to your team, you may get faced with fear or confusion as traditional databases require a high level of understanding and experience which is why we often see data sit with a data manager or data team.

But today there are a whole host of solutions that can benefit organisations by opening up access to data to everyone, no matter how competent their database skills are.

Being able to simply ask a question like you would if you were talking to a person is at the foundation of platforms such as Veezoo. They operate like a Google search engine but for your data. One of the other issues with data is sometimes you don’t always know what data will make the difference. That’s why when you use software now you can get suggested questions or datasets based on the initial question the person asked.

Invest in Connecting All Your Data Sources

When you look at data in isolation, you’ll never get the full picture. Typically, we see businesses focus on product and inventory data but in order to make real change you also need to pull in all the other key areas. Marketing, sales and finance will also provide a greater understanding of the basic data.

For example, you may have had a great month in terms of sales, but this won’t always equate to greater profit. The marketing team may have increased its spend, therefore the profit isn’t as attractive as you first thought.

Data Is Everyone’s Responsibility

Following from the point above, rather than view data and resources as owned by certain departments they need to be seen as an asset for the collective. You want to avoid a system where you create sluggish approval processes to ask for data. Making it accessible for all avoids this and encourages regular data exploration.

Real-Time Data

In the digital age, things move at a lightning-fast pace. It’s no longer good enough to look at data at the end of the month. Data needs to be reviewed constantly and the past 18 months has taught many companies that the ability to be agile is hugely valuable.

Real-time data will assist this process as you can spot change fast. Look at ASOS, for example; it quickly realised its core offering of going out clothes wasn’t going to be required for a while but saw the huge increase in leisurewear. ASOS was able to quickly pivot and order stock based on this. As a result, the fashion company grew by a fifth despite the challenges the pandemic and Brexit brought with them.


Marcos Monteiro
CEO & Co-Founder, Veezo

After growing up in Rio de Janeiro, Marcos moved to Zurich in 2010 to study Mathematics & Statistics at ETH Zurich. He specialised in computational statistics and artificial intelligence, graduating with distinction from ETH. His research explored an information theoretical perspective on how the brain encodes information in the primary visual cortex V1. After winning the SIX Hackathon 2015 with an innovative idea, Marcos decided to found Veezoo together with my brother and a colleague. The vision: to empower people to take better decisions. Veezoo provides them with the information that they need, at the exact moment when they need it. It is the ultimate interface to information.