Dreamforce & Data: How To Develop A Data-Driven Mindset at Dreamforce

September 9, 2015

Salesforce CEO, Mark Benioff, is a huge proponent of leading with data. In an interview with Fortune magazine, he stated that we have access to a “larger amount of data than ever before,” but the current challenge is “making sense of the data.”

Benioff goes on to say in the interview that what the industry needs is a “new generation of employees who are able to structure our businesses around the data.”

If we simplify the term “Big Data,” what it really means is that all of our businesses and teams can use data to make everyday decisions. Data-driven strategy leads to faster growth and company success.

When my team and I started making decisions based on data in my last company, we saw incredible growth and our company was eventually acquired. I don’t believe that was a coincidence. The power of data for our company’s progression was so strong and noticeable that I founded my current company, Grow, based on the idea that businesses and leaders that have access to more data will succeed and make better, quicker decisions.

I challenge everyone attending Dreamforce next week to go with a data-driven mindset. If you can come out of Dreamforce with a way to use data in your business strategy or daily functions, you will be on your way to becoming a data scientist.

Here are a few tips on how you can come out of Dreamforce with a more data-driven mentality, and even a data-driven strategy for your current job:

  • Before the conference, ask yourself how you can incorporate data and metrics into your current job. During the sessions, keep that question in mind and listen for ways others are using data. You can benefit from hearing the ideas and data strategies at Dreamforce, but you need to be looking for it.
  • Write a list of 5 questions concerning metrics you deal with on a daily basis. If you come into the conference prepared, you’ll know the questions to ask when you meet a data expert in your field.
  • Find the data experts. Become connected with these people and build relationships with them that last beyond the conference.
  • Ask everyone you meet how they are using data in their companies and on their teams. You might find someone that is at the same level of data understanding as you – you can even create an unofficial group of “data researchers.” Having others to bounce ideas and questions off of can help you develop your data-driven mindset.
  • Attend the data focused seminars. There is an Analytics track with sessions like “A Taste of Premier: Make Decisions with Reports and Dashboards” and “Analytics: Government is Riding the Wave.”
  • Ask the speakers how they are using data strategically and tactically. Use Twitter or talk with the speakers after the session if possible.
  • The keynote speakers and industry leaders are already using data to lead. Tweet your data questions to them before their sessions.
  • Come to the Grow booth and pitch your data questions directly to me and my team. We’re happy to help you get started on data strategies for your company or help you figure out a data bottleneck you are facing.

Whether you are a CEO, a social media manager, or on a sales team, there is a metric you can use to measure your success. Everyone needs to become a data scientist. Take advantage of the knowledge and expertise available at Dreamforce to help you become a data expert.

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