For leaders looking to accelerate the adoption of analytics, there’s no shortage of articles, podcasts, and papers on the value of instilling a data-driven culture.

But how do you actually do it?

A recent McKinsey Quarterly article, “Why Data Culture Matters,” makes a clear connection between organizational culture and the speed of analytics adoption. The problem, according to McKinsey, is that “companies’ data-analytics efforts are all over the map,” and it’s increasing the gap between leaders and those falling behind in the analytics space.

To help even the playing field, McKinsey talked to C-level executives on the forefront of digital transformation and data culture to get their advice. Speaking with companies like Boeing, JP Morgan Chase, and the Houston Astros, McKinsey translated their experiences and key learnings into seven takeaways aimed at helping any company move the needle on data culture.

See how your company can benefit below:

1. Data culture is a decision culture: Stay focused on the business and solving specific problems, then use the data to make smarter decisions. That’s the consensus among leaders from JP Morgan Chase, NBC Universal, and the Houston Astros.

2. Data culture, C-suite imperatives, and the board: Data culture starts from the top down and must permeate the entire organization. This means highly engaged CEOs, executive education sessions, and enablement of greater transparency on every level.

3. The democratization of data: Creating a data-driven culture requires data and analytics tools to be accessible to people across the organization, according to McKinsey. Leaders reported that with more data comes more employee excitement and energy for their work.

4. Data culture and risk: Taking risks is key when it comes to applying analytics to processes and tasks in your organization. But this must be balanced with rules and procedures for using data responsibly.

5. Culture catalysts: Bringing data science and on-the-ground operations together is no small feat. McKinsey reports that leading companies appoint and identify several internal champions that bring about change across the organization instead of relying on one individual to lead the charge.

6. Sharing data beyond company walls? Not so fast: While McKinsey observes an increasing shift to ecosystem approaches that allow companies to assemble the best solutions from multiple parties, digital sovereignty should remain top of mind. Leaders stressed the need to protect data as a corporate asset and be sure the right checks and balances are in place when working with external parties.

7. Marrying data and culture: McKinsey notes that getting to a data-driven culture takes a mix of both bringing in new people and transforming existing employees. Leaders look not only to different people across their organization to help drive cultural change, but also to other industries, never afraid of bringing in new perspectives.

As data becomes the new revenue generator and digital assets take on more value than physical assets, the need for a data-driven culture across your organization will be a requirement for success. It’s not too late. Move your company forward using these key takeaways.

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