Organizational practices tend to reveal the  stark differences between high functioning data cultures and others.

Today, the disparities across organizations extends well beyond access to data assets; they encompass practices and workflows that profoundly influence the role of data in driving business strategy and operational excellence.

This is a primary reason why the ROI of data teams faces intense scrutiny; there are varying degrees to which data utilization and numeracy are integrated into the cultural fabric and rituals.

The table illustrates five key business workflows and the pivotal role played by data and data teams in high-functioning organizations.

While I've focused on how the role of data teams manifests, fostering a high-functioning culture is a mutual responsibility of both data and business teams.

The processes outlined in the table requires executive buy-in and alignment between core business functions and data teams on seeking a deep, truthful understanding of the system through metrics and levers.

Conversely, if you do not have executives and business leaders bought in deeply into these data-infused operating practices, data and data teams will be ultimately ineffective in shaping strategy or driving operational excellence.