Data is Your Superpower!

By Lori Stillman   read

Creating a data-driven culture is no longer optional.

January 16, 2024

Data-is-Your-Superpower_PageImage.jpgWelcome to the data-driven age—a time where numbers aren’t just rows and columns on a spreadsheet; they’re the superheroes of decision-making.

Think of your data as a compass that guides your organization through the uncharted territories of disruption. Without it, you’re navigating blindfolded through a maze of uncertainty. You’re also relying on something that’s unreliable: gut feelings, which data will trump every time. That’s not to say instinct should be ignored but being data-driven—and building a data-driven culture—is like having a superpower that lets you eliminate biases and uncertainty and make informed, strategic decisions.

Today, the chasm between data-driven companies and their lagging counterparts is growing. The bottom lines of retailers leading and winning with analytical prowess look vastly different than those still struggling with the fundamentals…or worse.

Recent McKinsey research confirms that technology- and data-driven enterprises have better access to rapidly maturing technologies and accessible talent. Even more validating is that these firms had 240-percentage-point greater shareholder returns than their peers.

Being data-driven is no longer an option; it’s a survival strategy.

Your teams need to have a clear picture of what success looks like and how to get there using data. However, arming your team with data and tools does not mean overloading them with more than they can handle. It begins with stepping up access and alignment across teams and functional areas. Access is only the first step, the next—and harder—step is translating data into action.

Bringing numbers to life through effective visuals and storytelling unleashes the insight-rich data that transforms performance. Connecting those insights to positively impact team workloads and success rates cultivates the data-driven mindset that can truly bend organizational metal and unlock growth.

So, what are you waiting for?

Building a data-driven culture is the difference between riding the wave of opportunity and being swept away by the dynamic market forces redefining convenience. It’s why we have taken great data sets like the State of the Industry Report of Data and the SOI Compensation Report and transformed them from paper- and digital-based narratives into interactive visualization tools that can be accessed across your enterprise. Imagine having 10 years’ worth of convenience fuel and retailing data to guide your decision-making.

Put data into the hands of the teams driving your business at all levels. It is the force multiplier that turns ordinary performance into extraordinary results. We’re seeing the organizations that embrace the data-driven mindset become the superheroes of our industry.

Sometimes less is more, and data is no exception. Big Data has evolved into a greater focus on delivering data-driven results that align with a company’s strategic goals and values. It’s evolved into a data-driven culture that’s built on trust and integrity.

It’s time you put on your cape and conquer your opportunities with the might of information available at your fingertips!

Lori Stillman is the NACS vice president of research and education. She can be reached at