The Evolution of a Productive Data Team

organization| business| collaboration | | Lynn Heidmann

Today’s data teams are becoming central to the strategy and direction of businesses around the world. But successful data teams don’t just happen overnight - the require plenty of nurturing and direction along the way.

Crawl -> Walk

Whether part of a small, agile startups or global enterprise, all data teams must (metaphorically) crawl before they can walk. That is, there are basic, foundational aspects of a data team that must be established in its early stages, or it risks faltering later on.

For example, securing readily available access to all necessary data is a critical step in data teams’ first stage. Or being able to produce tangible results by putting data projects into production. Many young data teams try to walk (i.e., expand or take on larger projects) before they crawl (i.e., have a process to combine different types of data from various sources into one project or quickly deploy to and make changes in production).

Many number of companies unfortunately don’t get the basics right from the beginning and struggle with them when it comes time to really scale the data team. Or they start off with lots of funding, resources, and personnel from the get-go, resulting in a large (but very immature) data team, neither of which is ideal for producing results.

Data Team Nurturing

Instead, successful data teams at companies of any size are able to produce results because they develop gradually through a series of stages and acquire skills along the way that help them stay efficient and effective even as they grow to take on more risk and responsibility.

The primary ways in which data teams progress (or, in some cases, regress) are in the areas of scalability, collaboration, risk taking, creativity, and acclaim. Over time and with maturity, these basic characteristics shift and represent an evolution - or growing up - of data teams:

nurturing_productive_data_team.pngClick image to enlarge!

Want to learn more about the data team maturity stages and see how you can nurture a productive team? Check out our latest white paper for details on helping data teams grow.


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