Data leaders are taking action and getting results
When it comes to emerging roles such as those of chief data officer or chief analytics officer, one of the few constants is change. New personalities step into the limelight, industries contribute their own twists and early experiments can evolve into best practices. Last year, when my team connected with Cortnie Abercrombie, IBM emerging roles and markets leader, big data and analytics category, we researched the organizational role of the chief data officer. We knew that we would be continuing an examination of data leaders, particularly their responses to the rigors of a new responsibility.
This spring, our research efforts yielded interview after interview that reminded us of that old saying: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Though many organizations are collecting higher-quality information in increasingly useful ways, they’re still stumbling over how to use that information and integrate it into operations. Data leaders are charged to provide strategic direction for bringing data together, ensuring that data are valid and enabling everyone to use the data. Ideal leaders focus on changing processes, minds and skills to bring value to the business. In short, leading is not just about gathering data; it’s about equipping the business to actually make use of data.
Changing business from the top
In our report “Teaching Organizations to Fish in a Data-Rich Future,” we share several stories of real business impact driven by changes from the top. Leading organizations are investing in highly skilled data leaders and are rapidly moving ahead to capture value from data. Those who are steered by data leaders are seeing business benefits ranging from heightened success rates to reduced incidence of fraud. The wins that data leaders have orchestrated have helped build credibility and driven the demand for greater capacity.
What do transformational data leaders have in common? Each has found a way to do three things: (1) Make data a priority, (2) develop from within and (3) free data from silos within the organization. Such leaders face challenges common to many but often develop unique approaches driving transformational actions. What sets these leaders apart is that they have the position and authority to cross organizational boundaries and help move the entire group in the right business direction.
Read our full report to learn more about data leaders and the actions that you can take to become one. For more information, take a look at related research from the IBM Center for Applied Insights that can help you experience the full power of an open data analytics platform. Start your journey today.