Quick Notes: Using Data to Mitigate Risk in Your Organization

Diane spoke with David Bryan, a leader in data engineering and cybersecurity, about how to aggregate and utilize data to inform organizational strategy.

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, data is not just a byproduct of operations; it’s the cornerstone of strategic decision-making. Recently, I had an engaging discussion that underscored the pivotal role data plays in driving customer success and sales enablement within software companies. We dove into some of the key challenges organizations face with the organization and utilization of data.

The Challenge of Data Siloes

One of the biggest hurdles organizations face is the siloed nature of their data. As we spoke David and I recognized that many companies struggle to integrate data across departments. This hampers their ability to make informed decisions for the organization as a whole. This issue is particularly pronounced in customer success functions, where data-driven decisions are crucial for delivering effective programs.

The Importance of Data Aggregation

To break down these siloes, companies need to focus on data aggregation. By consolidating data into one accessible platform, organizations can extract valuable insights more efficiently. We discussed tools like GuestXM by Black Box Intelligence (BBI), which helps aggregate restaurant data to provide a comprehensive view for operational decision making. Aggregated data is not just about convenience; it’s about making the data actionable and strategic.

Metrics That Matter

Understanding which metrics to track is essential for any data-driven strategy. Utilization data, support call frequency, and customer engagement levels are just a few examples. Interestingly, support calls could indicate either a highly engaged customer or a highly dissatisfied one, depending on the context. Hence, interpreting these metrics accurately is crucial.

Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs)

QBRs are a staple in high-dollar solutions to remind clients of the value being delivered. However, to make these reviews impactful, organizations need to back them up with solid value metrics. What do customers truly value? This is where data on customer utilization, system downtime, and other incidents come into play. These metrics not only help in demonstrating value but also in identifying areas for improvement.

Organizational Culture and Data Disclosure

Another critical aspect we touched upon is the role of organizational culture in data disclosure. For data to be genuinely effective, there needs to be a culture of transparency and psychological safety. Leaders play a pivotal role in fostering this environment. They need to be aware of what’s happening within their teams and be willing to act on the data disclosed. This kind of culture encourages employees to share insights and challenges openly, leading to more robust data collection and utilization.

Steps to Organizing Data

Organizing data is a multi-step process:

  1. Align your data needs with your organizational objectives and the risks you want to mitigate.
  2. Identify what data to keep.
  3. Develop, enact, and monitor the ongoing utilization of policies around data retention
  4. Understand how data will be used, accessed, and most importantly, protected.

Once the data is organized, it becomes easier to quantify and utilize effectively.

In Summary

Data is omnipresent in every organization, yet its true potential is realized only when it is strategically harnessed. By breaking down data siloes, focusing on key metrics, and fostering a culture of transparency, companies can transform data into a powerful tool for customer success and sales enablement.
If you’re interested in diving deeper into this topic, keep an eye on this blog. I will continue – through open and transparent conversations with professionals who are making a difference in the world – to share more insights and practical strategies for leveraging data in your organization.


People Risk Consulting (PRC) is a human capital risk management and change management consulting firm located in San Antonio, Texas. PRC helps leaders in service-focused industries mitigate people risk by conducting third-party people-centric risk analysis and employee needs assessments. PRC analyzes and uses this data alongside best practice to make strategic recommendations to address organizational problems related to change and employee risk. The firm walks alongside leaders to develop risk plans, change plans, and strategic plans to drive the human element of continuous improvement. PRC provides technical assistance, education, training, and trusted partner resources to aid with execution. PRC is a strategic partner of TriNet, Marsh McClennan Agency, Cloud Tech Gurus, Predictive Index, and Motivosity.

Quick Notes: Unlocking Leadership Skills to Mitigate Performance Risk

Tiffany Simms, the founder of Living One Step at a Time, transitioned from a role as a senior chemist and leader in a Fortune 250 company leader in the nuclear power industry to teaching harmony between health, relationships, and leadership success. In this Quick Note, Diane Dye, CEO of People Risk Consulting speaks to Tiffany about various unhealthy impacts of leadership roles on well-being and what leaders can do to proactively address the overall wellbeing in their workforce during times of conflict.

Challenges to Address Up Front

  • Begin this practice without blame. It’s important to address challenges you are having within yourself as a leader and with your employees without blame. Blame confirms bias and blocks truth.
  • Recognize this is a practice loop of monitoring performance and ongoing communication. Develop employee skills and address stressors intentionally, not just at review time. Provide special attention to areas of improvement that will help them thrive in their role.
  • Executive burnout trickles down to front-line performance risks. Don’t skip lunch and practices for self-care. It will impact your ability to lead. Leaders must take care of themselves first and connect self-care practices to their daily routines to improve team organization and performance.

Align Goals and Values

  • Assess yourself more often than you assess your team. Utilize the skill of self-assessment as a starting point to make meaningful changes in your leadership practices.
  • Understand what matters to you as a leader and how you will accomplish the company’s objectives. Although it may feel like external situations run your day, acknowledging the abundance of choices you do have in setting priorities. Your plan of attack to accomplish the same objective may look completely different than other leaders’ approach.
  • Build your project teams intentionally. Align your personal and professional relationships with your core values and goals. Your role as a leader is to be the glue for talent, creating bonds that protect against performance risk and bind your team together.

Leading Through Change and Conflict

Clear communication is important to navigate and resolve conflict. Tiffany and Diane collaborated to share a framework to guide your conversations and maintain professional integrity and self-care in tense times where interpersonal risk is high.

  1. Clarity: Be really clear with yourself about how you intentionally want to show up for your team.
  2. Boundaries: Ask yourself – Where are your boundaries – your lines in the sand?
  3. Ownership: Can you own that with confidence? If you can’t, what within yourself is in conflict or dissonance with those boundaries?
  4. Discomfort: What uncomfortable conversations need to be had? What about this conversation makes it uncomfortable?
  5. Opportunity: Where do you have an opportunity to speak up?
  6. Gaps: Where are others remaining silent? What are the reasons others have for remaining silent?
  7. Risk: Weigh your interpersonal risk. What do you have to gain from speaking up? What is the potential loss?
  8. Communication: State your boundary in a calm, clear tone. Communicate with certainty, truthfully and with transparency to hold a space of interpersonal psychological safety in the interaction.
  9. Alignment: Seek shared vision. Make the conflict about the problem and not the person having the reaction to the problem.
  10. Example: Lead by example by guiding your team on how to address challenging situations using shared vision and effective communication.

Mitigate Risk Through Principles of Influence and Positive Interaction

  • Stay positive. Encourage leaders to focus on shared goals and influence positive outcomes in interactions
  • Lead yourself BEFORE you lead others. Emphasize the role of self-regulation and self-leadership when you want to influence interactions and achieve desired outcomes. Remember, you must lead yourself first before you lead others in the workplace.

If you need help navigating performance risk in your organization, connect with People Risk Consulting for a complimentary discovery call.


People Risk Consulting (PRC) is a human capital risk management and change management consulting firm located in San Antonio, Texas. PRC helps leaders in service-focused industries mitigate people risk by conducting third-party people-centric risk analysis and employee needs assessments. PRC analyzes and uses this data alongside best practice to make strategic recommendations to address organizational problems related to change and employee risk. The firm walks alongside leaders to develop risk plans, change plans, and strategic plans to drive the human element of continuous improvement. PRC provides technical assistance, education, training, and trusted partner resources to aid with execution. PRC is a strategic partner of TriNet, Marsh McClennan Agency, Cloud Tech Gurus, Predictive Index, and Motivosity.