It’s not easy creating a data-driven decision-making culture in any organization, let alone one as bound in tradition and lore as the NHL, where hockey men are imbued with mythical powers of observation and judgement just by virtue of having played the game. And yet, the NHL is clearly moving in that direction. It may be at a glacier-like pace, but I suppose that makes sense, what with the ice and all. Despite some early stumbles, it’s probably safe to say that it is only a matter of time before data-driven decisions are the norm rather than the exception. Whether that happens while we still have glaciers is another matter.
But even when there is a managerial will and top-down direction to move toward a data-driven culture, it is often difficult to introduce data analysis into the existing decision-making process of an organization. It’s not just deep structural changes that are necessary, but also staff will need a robust change management process. It’s hard enough to get people to accept change, but a new culture requires that they go beyond acceptance and embrace it as a new way of doing things. This is a difficult process in any organization. However, it is made more difficult in the hockey world where many in positions of authority are in those roles precisely because they “played the game” and understand the traditional way of doing things.
But what if you could start from scratch and build something from the ground up?Continue reading