Be “guided by data”… It’s the latest mantra. Access to massive data has opened the floodgates to measuring in ways that have never been possible before. But having data is not enough for a company to become “data-driven”. This doesn’t just happen with the wave of a magic wand. Relying on data must become second nature – a habit that’s integrated into the company’s way of thinking, making decisions, discussing, and into everyday activities. Consequently, it’s by observing the behaviour of employees that we can tell if a company is data-driven, or not.  Here are 10 behaviours that prove your company is data-driven:

Someone is responsible for the quality of your data

There’s someone at your company whose responsibility is to ensure that the data collected and communicated are of sufficient quality. As such, each employee knows that he or she can confidently trust the data being examined.

With any new online project, the question of obtaining audience data is asked from square one

Before the first line of code is even written, the question of tagging and collecting data is asked. As such, once the project is pushed live, visit data is collected immediately and performance analysis can take place.

Whenever someone offers an opinion, it’s accompanied by numbers and data

Each time someone puts forth an opinion without any numbers, you’ve gotten accustomed to asking what data the opinion is based on. As such, decisions are not made with biases, preconceived notions or beliefs, but with real facts – and the risk of error is reduced.

Numbers are communicated, even if they illustrate poor performance

When your company experiences below-average performance, nobody tries to hide it. As such, you know in which areas performance must be improved.

Everyone can access the data that relates to them

All employees have access to the figures representing their team’s activities. As such, all team members have a precise understanding of both the strengths and weaknesses of the team.

Each objective has an associated indicator and target to be reached

As soon as an objective is assigned to a team or person, he, she or they know the indicator allowing them to judge whether the objective has been reached. As such, employees know if goals are achieved – and have a better view of their contribution to these achievements.

Teams receive data analysis training

Each employee has been trained on data analysis and interpretation. As such, employees are more at ease with data interpretation, and know which methods to employ to analyse and act accordingly.

Data collection projects have no trouble getting financed

Whenever and wherever it’s possible to get new data, the necessary budget is easily found. As such, stakeholders can obtain new data for decision-making. And, they know their management fully values data and attributes high importance to it.

Data is not used to point fingers in case of failure

When something fails, data is shared – not to create blame toward the responsible person(s), but to set the conditions for improved performance. As such, employees are less afraid to take risks, and less hesitant to use data that might potentially reveal less-than-stellar performance.

Relying on tests has become second nature

Before any corrective actions are taken for an entire audience, a test is carried out on a portion of the population to check if this correction does indeed improve performance. As such, data justifies and validates projects for improvements and allows you to acquire a better understanding of user behaviour and motivation.

Nonetheless, we must be careful about the meaning we pull from “driven,” as it’s the source of some misunderstanding regarding the expression “data-driven”. If by “driven” we mean “directed”, “led” or “guided”, this does indeed mean that data points us in the right direction and leads us. On the other hand, if we interpret “driven” as “propelled” or “motivated”, this can create confusion. Data is at the service of company projects. It allows us to know where our company is, and the distance that remains toward reaching our goals. But a company will never be motivated by numbers. It will be motivated by a vision – a vision that gives meaning to the work of each employee. It’s therefore preferable that a company aim to be both “vision-driven” and “data-informed”.


Do you dream of a digital strategy entirely founded on data? Being a ”data-driven” company creates many promising opportunities – but also brings new challenges. Get our latest white paper and follow John, the digital analyst, whose role is not to simply churn out meaningless numbers, but to uncover the true business value of data and make it immediately accessible.



Head of Client Success – Generaleads Benoit has a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Bordeaux and 10 years of web analytics experience developed while at AT Internet. In early 2015, Benoit joined the Google AdWords specialist agency GENERALEADS as Head of Client Success. In parallel, he’s working on the start-up GetLandy, the first landing page creation tool designed for traffic managers.