Big, smart, or open data is a topic that organizations cannot escape. What place do they have? How to create an organization-specific data culture? Is there a “dataset” for broadcasting? What are the steps to becoming a data driven organization? If no one can claim absolute confidence, many organizations are trying to develop new strategies or integrate new business profiles into their teams, all with the “data” component. Data invites itself in projects, in job descriptions, and sometimes even on boards of directors! But, despite their ever-growing volume, their use is sometimes struggling to transcend very traditional things (customer files, production, financial data, etc.).

And few people have the skills to deal with them or, more simply, to imagine what is possible with the data. As part of the campaign, a working group on data culture was created to exchange and analyze promising experiences, requests and expectations. Define the data culture, determine their place in the organization and determine the different ways of animating them, these were the main axes being processed. One certainty served as a source of reflection: for data to become a source of projects and developments, it is important that employees share a data culture.

As data has become critically important for our societies, it is important to be able to understand their roles and enable them to act with data. For this, the starting point is the correct definition of what constitutes a data element, and, in particular, to distinguish it from information (insert “Actually, what is data?”).

Why and when to escape data. A data culture crosses media culture and computer and math culture. Like any culture, it relies on the exchange of knowledge and practice. We are talking about the knowledge of the functioning of computerized media, which, among other things, collect, transmit, process data. View and configure the parameters of our applications, understand how data conversion is performed (graphical representation of data). And on the other hand, this requires the ability to mobilize some computer and statistical databases: for example, open a CSV file, apply mathematical processing to some data.

It’s not about becoming a data expert or data researcher! The march is not so high as to become a data specialist, a gentleman, or a Jordanian data lady. Thus, it takes a little to get the data and act through it. Developing a data culture is important for two reasons. First, it is important to establish critical relationships with the media and industries that have made data central to the algorithmic processing based on their business and editorial model. Then, in the professional field, a data culture allows you to update decision-making and discussion methods, interact between services and outside the organization.

In fact, what is a datum? Data is “an identifiable and identifiable element that can be manipulated, processed and analyzed in accordance with a goal or analytical structure”. Data is created from rules or categories that are determined by the data producer (age, income, tastes …) or thanks to a generally accepted unit of measure (meter, euro, degree …). As for information, it arises from the relationship between a given and a person. Information exists only if a person interprets the data and gives them meaning. In other words, data is the basic elements that, depending on the context, will be understood and translated by people or machines. Understanding data and creating information is the foundation of a data culture.

This was made possible because they placed a data culture at the core of their way of working. The Amazon example, in the opposite box, demonstrates the radical nature of the conditions in which a data culture and a prohibition on the exchange of data between employees can be the basis of the strategy and imposed on the entire company.

Then, in addition to various specific measures that the organization can take (described in this manual), it is the reflexes adopted by employees that contribute to the data culture: the principle of a data source (systematic search for data), the reflex of diversification of data use (a systematic search for new uses and values of data) , practice of interpretation and critical analysis of data (search for relevant information). It is impossible to talk about a data culture.

On the contrary, depending on the social group, organization, features associated with the role assigned to the data and the conditions for their use can be identified. In a broad approach, data cultures make up the medium. These cultures surround us constantly. And our practice allows us to register in these cultures.