Building a data-driven culture – without A/B-testing

Is it even possible to talk about being data-driven and at the same time say you don’t do A/B-testing? Helping Skandia create a data-driven culture actually started off exactly like that!

The challenge: to establish a culture of data and growth

We’ve been working together with Skandia for many years on various projects to assist in optimizing their customer experience and digital sales. This time working together with the challenge of creating a data-driven way of working and a mindset focusing on continuous learning. All initiated by a simple question: How do we become data-driven?

Let’s just stop here shortly to comment on the fact that we’ve already mentioned “data-driven” a couple of times. It’s a problematic term and we could talk for hours about it, but just let’s leave it at: Yes, it’s a buzzword. And when we say data-driven, we mean something like data-informed and customer driven. Simply taking actions to meet  customer needs, using different data sources to understand those needs.

It’s not about the result but about HOW we worked

Back to the story of Skandia. This isn’t your typical case stating some fantastic winning experiments with amazing uplift numbers. This will tell you the story of How we enabled change in the way of working, thinking and collaborating – with the data and user insights in focus. 

We normally approach these types of challenges with a three-step approach: 

  1. Build – Enable change by discovering the current state and defining actions for growth
  2. Operate – Leading the way, together with the client, to establish a data-driven way of working
  3. Transfer – Educating and handing over the role to make sure the wheels keep spinning

Nevertheless, the process is never as important as the people. Especially when it’s all about establishing a mindset and ways of working. Therefore, working closely with the people in the organization to empower them in any possible way is a success factor to always remember.

Our solution focused on knowledge transition throughout the three phases


Together with Skandia, we assessed the current state of both their onsite customer journey and the organizational conditions to realize the growth potential.

  • Defining prioritized on-site optimization actions to improve the customer experience
  • Assessing top challenges that need to be addressed in order to enable growth initiatives throughout the organization
  • Stating work streams and activities that will increase growth maturity level within the organization


When understanding where we are and where we want to go, it’s so much easier to prioritize both the strategic initiatives itself, but also the day-to-day activities and projects that normally overwhelm you. Realizing concrete actions that add value. Closing the gap that was defined in the Build phase


  • Lead change with KPI & Digital goals alignment
    Together with Skandia, we established a KPI governance structure to enable the digital organization to work together in the same direction. With clear responsibilities and accountability for each part, but also the joint holistic understanding that the entire department and organization needs to help each other to reach the overall goal. Those goals span from on-site engagement to initiate and complete setting up a savings account.
  • Enable a Data-driven Optimization Process
    Using a proof of concept to establish and inject a data-driven way of working within existing processes throughout the digital organization. Where we tested the way of working for one specific customer journey – from generating Hypothesis to testing and implementing changes in that journey. The perfect way to get buy-in from bigger parts of the organization and create curiosity to expand.
  • Educate to increase knowledge and create a culture of learning
    Different forums were established to connect the plenty of skilled people in the digital organization. Leading to qualitative triangulation helping to optimize the customer experience, but also lifting the overall skill sets. Getting people together in front of juicy customer insights is the perfect way of tearing down those silo walls. You can find the template for this work shop in our HEAT-meet blog
  • Tool implementation
    Mentioned in the beginning that there was no A/B-testing at the time, actually no A/B-testing within almost the first year of working together. We worked hard to find and implement the right tools, since that was a clear finding in the initial assessment. But, sometimes implementing tools that will support your level of data-driven takes time. We managed to improve qualitative analysis (session recording and heatmaps) and get an A/B-testing tool in place.

But most importantly, we didn’t sit around waiting for that implementation to happen. Because just as it’s not all about that shiny process on paper, it’s neither about that shiny new tool that costs a fortune. It’s, once again, about the people.

Practicing iteration after iteration of that data-driven way of working taught us a lot at Skandia. How fast we could run, what dependencies we had to other teams, and above all how to collaborate together to build the strongest possible hypothesis to build experiments on. 


When different initiatives were established, proofs of concept were proven, tools were implemented, knowledge was shared, etc. we moved into assisting in recruiting a person to take over the role and responsibilities we’ve had. Quality Assurance of the competence needed to keep up the optimization work. When the recruited person started in the new role, we were there to support by handover education and onboarding to pave the way for a great head start.

So. Can you build a data-driven culture without A/B-testing then?

Yes! Because sometimes it’s not about the glamorous results, but about the way you get to them. Although it’s more simple to get the buy-in with the A/B-testing results from the beginning. 

But let’s not forget that a data-driven culture starts with the people and ends with the people. Crafting a culture and mindset believing in the power of data as a driver for change, that will enable sustainable business growth. And people’s activities are also measurable and could be used as results of progress. Clarifying our focus on bringing people together with 10+ education sessions and 30+ colleagues learning the data-driven process during the first 6 months in order to build that culture. Without A/B-testing. At the start.

Are you also struggling with getting that A/B-testing tool in place and/or building that data-driven culture within your organization? Share your learnings with us or reach out if you want to discuss your struggles – together we can make it happen! 

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