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Markus LehtoJan 26, 2023 10:10:28 AM4 min read

How to Be a Data-Driven Leader?

Data-driven leadership is not only a trend but also a must-have approach in most industries. And it’s not just leadership, but a data-driven approach will affect everyone’s work. It is expected that just in a few years smart workflows and seamless interactions between humans and machines will be as standard. Most employees will use data to optimize nearly every aspect of their work.

The ability to collect, analyze, and interpret large amounts of data is becoming more accessible as technological solutions grow more mature. Leaders are able to use data to inform their decisions and to track the performance of their organizations.


Data can be used to identify trends, measure progress, and identify areas for improvement.


Leaders benefit from the data as they are able to make better decisions and measure how their decisions affect their organizations both long and short-term.



What happened to intuition?

Intuition is the ability to make quick decisions based on knowledge and past experiences. Making decisions on “gut feeling" sometimes works surprisingly well. The downside is that it easily leads to disasters as well. Data refers to facts and information that can be tested and analyzed and then used to make calculated decisions.


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The best way is not either but both. In decision-making, intuition can be useful for quickly identifying potential solutions. Intuition can provide valuable insights, but you need data to validate those insights and ensure that decisions are grounded in reality.

In some cases, intuition may actually be more effective, especially when quick decision-making in high-pressure or time-sensitive situations is needed. However, in most cases, data is needed because it allows for a more thorough and unbiased evaluation of different options.


Data is needed to confirm the diagnosis and determine the treatment.


For example, in a medical setting, intuition is effective for recognizing that something is wrong with a patient, but data is needed to confirm the diagnosis and determine the treatment.

So, it's important to use both intuition and data in decision-making, as they can complement each other and provide a more well-rounded perspective. To use intuition to generate hypotheses and then use data to test them.


Data in building sustainable success

Learn to measure and analyze your organization’s performance. Learning about the relevant data is crucial for understanding whether the organization is on track to its goals and making sustainable progress. In general, each organization can be measured by four key measures: Efficiency, Capability, Culture, and Leadership.

How these key measures develop, correlates directly to key performance indicators (KPIs) such as revenue, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement.

If you’d like to develop your data analyzing skills and learn to benefit more from data in your decision-making here are a few points to help you get started.


Develop your data and analytics skills

Learn about available data analysis tools, such as, and develop your understanding of data science and analytics concepts.


Use data to inform your decision-making

Start incorporating data into your decision-making process, and use it to test hypotheses and make data-informed decisions. Make sure you have set the right measures to be able to follow your progress.


Communicate data effectively

Learn how to effectively communicate data and insights to others, and use data visualization techniques and tools to make data more accessible to non-technical stakeholders.


Take action

Use data to identify opportunities and make decisions that drive sustainable success.


Be busy learning

Whether your actions end up as successes or failures, make sure to learn from both. Study new data and analytics tools and techniques and continuously try out new ways to use data to inform decision-making.


Encourage a data-driven culture

As a leader, it is your job to lead. Be an example and encourage others to use data to inform their decision-making, and provide resources to help them develop their skills.


Be a collaborator

Work with different teams and stakeholders to understand their data needs. Find tools that can be used transparently, so that it is easy for all stakeholders to access the relevant data.


Give and receive feedback

Track progress and measure the impact of your decisions. Be honest and open to feedback and adjust your approach when needed.


In summary: Data-driven leadership is becoming increasingly important as it allows leaders to make better decisions and track the performance of their organizations. The ability to collect, analyze, and interpret relevant data plays a crucial role in building sustainable success. However, intuition should also be used in decision-making as it can provide valuable insights. Learn to measure your organization by four key measures: Efficiency, Capability, Culture, and Leadership. To become a data-driven leader, develop your data and analytics skills, use data to inform decision-making, communicate data effectively, take action, and constantly learn from successes and failures.


Markus Lehto

Communications professional with a marketer's heart. Creating a better world with one PLG project at a time. Because nobody needs another demo.