Make sure your c-suite lead by example
If you have data villains at the top, you’re going to have data villains throughout the business: a data villain’s lair, if you will. A lack of data buy-in at the top will change the way that everyone in the organisation perceives data and embraces (or rejects) data technology and processes. Leading a data culture can’t fall to the senior data lead (be it a CTO, CDO, CIO or someone else) alone, nor can it be the responsibility of a single department, like IT: all this will do is create a ‘them vs us’ culture around data rules as opposed to everyone working together towards shared goals.
Assign data champions
Create an elite task force of people throughout the business who fully buy in to your data initiatives. Again, these shouldn’t be limited to IT teams, or data professionals – they should represent every department. Your data champions will help to influence good data behaviours and be able to spot risks and weaknesses that need to be addressed, but they can also communicate feedback on the project from their colleagues and help drive sustainable change.