The last few decades have seen an extraordinary amount of digital innovation. Savvy businesses and organizations have taken note, adopting modern technologies to create pathways for actionable growth. This decade is just the beginning but, it is already clear that data and analytics are going to be the next major area of evolution for companies moving forward. With data available to business leaders at an astounding rate, leaders can now take a competitive advantage of the data resources provided in today’s marketplace. Data leadership is now more important than ever but analytics is not always as simple as it seems.
A shift in the Viewpoints Governing Data and Analytics
Just a few short years ago, most business leaders left data analytics to their IT teams. Data was thought to only pertain to marketing, finance and information technology. However, over the past few years more and more organizations started to slowly recognize that data can be used to impact decisions at every organizational level. This revelation led to a shift in the role of analytics. Analytics went from being strictly an IT platform and expanded into new arenas within a business.
A quick scan of top organizations will show that data is now considered as an asset, with analytics becoming a critical leveraging point in creating business models and technology that enhances the customer experience. Enhanced customer experience directly leads to a higher conversion rate. Therefore, the proper use of data can increase profits, allowing the proper use of data to be monetized.
Who Should be Tasked with Dealing with “Big Data?”
At its inception, some leaders attempted to deal with the integration of data by appointing a chief data or analytics officer to be responsible for data issues. While appointing someone to work through an organizational level of data may seem productive, in reality, it is only the beginning of integrating data and making it a priority in the boardroom. The simple fact is that companies need to create a leadership team with the ability to interpret data and take appropriate actions based on those findings. Data-driven leadership is the most effective way to lead a company towards success in what is quickly becoming a data-driven world.
Compartmentalization of tasks within the workforce is no longer an effective way to run a company. This has been proven time and time again as companies such as Google have adopted shared office space and open communication between people and managers. The very principle of knowledge management within a workforce dictates that knowledge from all levels of an organization must be accessible to achieve high levels of success. The same can be said of data. Isolating the influence of data by charging only one or two individuals with data interpretation and application minimizes its effects. Data has the potential to positively alter the way an organization grows, restructures, and adapts. Unless the power of data is utilized by everyone at the top, an organization will not fully be able to realize its potential.
What Should Your Data Leadership Team Look Like?
Crafting a data leadership team is vital. And it starts by recognizing the need for data and analytics talent and taking proactive steps to hire or retain current leaders. Ideally, each position should be held by data analytics professionals with different backgrounds and responsibilities. The senior data team needs to properly understand the strategic opportunities within a company and be willing to supplement these opportunities with deep data knowledge as pertains to the market.
4 Data Leadership Roles that All Organizations Should Have
According to an insightful article by Spencer Stuart that I have read recently, there are four roles that should be enacted within all modern, data-driven organizations. While the talent may be hard to find in today’s market, it is worth offering competitive wages to draw these leaders toward your company because their ability to help influence company growth is unmatched.
Chief Data / CX Officer
Most large companies have hired or are in the process of hiring a Chief Data/CX Officer. However, the role of a Chief Data Officer varies within an organization based on how much the organization actually acknowledges the importance of the role. The role of CDO is not fully realized unless a company properly allocates responsibilities and resources. The true role of a CDO should be to act as the data council for the organization, in the boardroom, by creating a data council that is made up of the CDO, legal, risk, and business managers, so that they can cumulatively assess enterprise data and communicate a proper strategy that effectively impacts the entire business flow chain.
In some larger companies, the CDO is responsible for business intelligence, communicating analytics at the highest level of the organization, as well as third-party oversight. At this level, CDOs are not concerned about who receives credit for data initiatives but instead, how to properly add value to the organization in which they are employed and if the data initiatives will receive enough support from top boardroom officials.
Data scientists go by a variety of names including mathematicians, data engineers, or statisticians. While they may be thought of as strictly academics, data scientists are responsible for creating the logic that allows data solutions to be effective. Most organizations need a head of data science to deliver data solutions to the market. Within the modern marketplace, “smart” solutions and predictive analytics can be used to create highly profitable products and services. Data scientists work at the executive level to create new algorithms and craft more accurate artificial intelligence via predictive modeling. Most data scientists don’t care about their status or position, but instead about forwarding their own research.
Of course, despite the growth behind team data leadership, there will always be a role for analytics. At one point, this department was known as business intelligence but today the position has evolved to leverage current data, as well as past historical data. Cutting-edge companies have sophisticated data technologies that allow them to not only study the past performance of their market but also develop future predictions or market behavior which allows them to continue their success. Many executive level analytics start their career in operations or marketing but hone their craft and move into positions as enterprise analytics executives. The most effective analytic data leaders are able to leverage real-time data with modern customer needs.
Finally, data requires proper management to be rightly acquired, stored, mined and analyzed. A data management officer is responsible for making sure all these tasks are properly handled by acting as the architect of the organization’s data warehouse and outlining technical standards of the organization. The data manager can be thought of as the glue that holds together the rest of the data leadership team.
Before venturing into the field of data leadership, you need to understand your organization’s specific needs and the value that data can bring to your company. Etech Global Services is a leading technology company that provides outsourced services to many leading brands across the world. We use data-driven strategies to create effective programs to help our customers improve Customer Experience and deliver world class results. Contact Etech today for more information about how you can use our services to increase revenue and gain market share within your organization.