Chief Data Officer – The Data Geek in the Room

In his latest book Data Strategy, analytics guru Bernard Marr, discusses how to profit from a world of big data, analytics and the internet of things. Marr breaks down the importance of having a data strategy to ensure data-driven decision-making, improve business operations and to monetize the data in a business.

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One of the key takeaways from his book is the emerging role of Chief Data Officer. This is a separate C-Level Suite position form the more traditional Chief Technology Officer or Chief Information Officer as this person should serve as both an analytics cheerleader and data-driven decision-making champion.

Big companies have CDOs, but even smaller and medium sized companies need to have someone who acts in this role even if its not an official title. I often say that analysts have to not only analyze data, but be champions of using data for decision-making. They have to be the data cheerleaders to educate, enable, and empower the use of data and analytics across the organization.

There are six primary areas a CDO should oversee; (1) high level vision, (2) implementations, (3) data governance, (4) business opportunities, (5) data culture leader and (6) sees data as a commodity.

  1. CDOs have to have either a seat at the C-Suite table or the ear of the top decision-maker in the company. They are the ones who make sure that data is properly channeled to the right people at the right time to ensure data-driven strategies.
  2. CDOs have to be the one ultimately responsible for data project implementations. This is not an IT thing. IT should be involved, but not the owners of data and analytics.
  3. CDO’s have to make sure good data governance is followed. Data has to be stored, secure and accurate.
  4. CDO’s are the ones who have the task of discovering business opportunities and identifying risks. They should have access to all the data they need to do both.
  5. CDO’s are the ones who consistently and clearly articulate the importance of data and the value of data-driven decision-making.
  6. CDO’s see data for its monetary value. Data is a commodity that in itself can be used to not just help the company, but to generate revenue itself.

So if you have a Chief Data Officer, or just a chief data geek, you are on the right path. If you don’t have one of these in your organization then your organization are likely going to be left behind.

may 17-18Analytics Culture – The key to using analytics in a business is like a secret sauce that fuels Data-Driven Decison-Making. It is a unique combination of analytics talent, technology and technique that are brought together to enrich and empower an organization. A successful analytics culture is not easy to create, but DMAIPH can show you how. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can build a strategic plan to turn your company into analytics driven success story.

Fast Data is the New Big Data

Starting to hear a new buzzword for analytics… Fast Data. Everyone knows about Big Data that is growing almost exponentially.

It is coming to us in mind boggling sizes, from all across the Internet of Things and quicker then ever before.  The traditional 3 V’s of data (volume, variety and velocity) don’t seem to be enough anymore to describe the challenges we have before us.

SO now we are looking for Fast Data solutions, which means getting the right data you need at the right time with minimal delay.

The concept of waiting for reports to be pushed to you so you can analyze them is so 20th Century.

Now its all about being fast.

I can show you a thing or two (or a dozen) about how to supercharge your analytics by moving past management repots and even past business dashboard to start looking for solutions that get data to the decision-makers without any middle man.

Big Data is now Fast Data. Don’t get left behind.

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Join me this coming Feb 21 2017 for a Data Analytics Seminar in Ortigas where we talk about how to take your Big Data and make it your Fast Data.

DMAIPH specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization. Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders.

To that end, DMAIPH offers a wide range of analytics centric training solutions for professionals and students via public, in-house, on-site, and academic settings. We tailor each training event to meet the unique needs of the audience. If you need empowerment and skills enhancement to optimize the use of analytics in your organization, we are here to help.

Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation on which of our DMAIPH analytics training solutions is best for you.

Why Analytics Projects Fail – #12: New Technology

Occasionally one of the problems that can doom an analytics project is a new technology that emerges and makes the project obsolete before it is even implemented. This happened to me once when we were using an older and heavily modified version of Business Objects and then we got access to Tableau.

At the time, the flexibility of Tableau made our Business Objects business dashboard obsolete before we even completed the design phase of the project. The data visualization and the ease of use of Tableau Desktop at that time was miles ahead of anything our IT team could build around Business Objects. As a result, countless hours and dollars were lost, but in the end at least the business requirements we had established could be done by end users in Tableau.

Another example of how a new technology might impact your project is when a new version of the database you are using comes out. One that requires some much QA and/or testing to meet internal guidelines, that when it is finally approved it is hardly useful any more.  This can often be the case with big companies that have long vetting processes to use new version of software. You’d be surprised how many Fortune 500 companies are still running internal version of Windows XP because using 8 or 10 has not been approved yet.

Modifications done in house to off the shelf solutions can also make new versions incompatible. I have seen this happen with both Cisco and Teradata databases, where internal development of data flows and data structures to be so rigid, it was impossible to use updated versions of the same databases.

You can also come across situations where developers and IT teams are ordered to use something else because changes in a vendor relationships or a new strategy from the CTO.  In the end you have to adapt and either sacrifice, lose, or give up on what you have put into the project so far.

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As the number of data collection and storage options grow, the complexity of data models surge and the types of business intelligence solutions increase, the likelihood of a big analytics projects being impacted by new technology. A good analyst has to stay up to date on what’s hot and new, in order to not advocate the use of something that is on its way to being a dinosaur.

To help me stay current, I follow several blogs and belong to a dozen analytics themed LinkedIn groups. I also try and attend at least one big industry conference a year as an attendee as well.  And finally I read a lot. I end up going through 3-4 analytics themed books a month. If you are facing a situation where you are worried your project might fall victim to a new technology, let’s talk about it. I can help you figure out a solution to keep you and your project on the cutting edge.

The key to using analytics in a business is like a secret sauce. It is a unique combination of analytics talent, technology and technique that are brought together to enrich and empower an organization. A successful analytics culture is not easy to create, but DMAIPH can show you how. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can build a strategic plan to turn your company into analytics driven success story.

Analytics Culture – The key to using analytics in a business is like a secret sauce. It is a unique combination of analytics talent, technology and technique that are brought together to enrich and empower an organization. A successful analytics culture is not easy to create, but DMAIPH can show you how. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can build a strategic plan to turn your company into analytics driven success story.

Data-Driven Cultures

Inspired in part by Bernard Marr’s 2010 book, The Intelligent Company, my goal these past several years has been to build and/or be part of data-driven business cultures.

In his book, Bernard advocates for using Evidence-Based Management, that is using the best available data to inform decision-makers. In parallel to this, I have been empowering companies and professionals to empower decision-makers to use more data as well. I call it data-driven decision-making, but at their cores, they are very similar approaches to managing success.

Over the next several blog posts I will share my thoughts on the steps Bernard published. I will be giving my own spin towards more analytics and data-science, two things that I think have accelerated in importance since the book went to print six years ago.

The cornerstone of the book is the five steps to more intelligent decision-making, which are:

  • Step 1. More intelligent strategies – by identifying strategic priorities and agreeing your real information needs
  • Step 2. More intelligent data – by creating relevant and meaningful performance indicators and qualitative management information linked back to your strategic information needs
  • Step 3. More intelligent insights – by using good evidence to test and prove ideas and by analyzing the data to gain robust and reliable insights
  • Step 4. More intelligent communication – by creating informative and engaging management information packs and dashboards that provide the essential information, packaged in an easy-to-read way
  • Step 5. More intelligent decision-making – by fostering an evidence-based culture of turning information into actionable knowledge and real decisions.

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As information and data volumes grow at explosive rates, the challenges of managing this information is turning into a losing battle for most companies. In the end they find themselves drowning in data while thirsting for insights. Combine this with an increasingly severe shortage of talent with analytics, data visualization and good communication skills, things look bleak for companies not adhering to lessons like those suggested in the Intelligent Company.

I get this stuff. In response to a quickening demand for knowledge and know how, I have developed training materials to address these decision-making challenges. The reason I founded DMAI in the first place was to empower more data-driven Decision-Making through the use of Analytics and business Intelligence. I’m happy to help you enable better decision-making in your business and turn it into an Intelligent Company.

Analytics Culture – The key to using analytics in a business is like a secret sauce. It is a unique combination of analytics talent, technology and technique that are brought together to enrich and empower an organization. A successful analytics culture is not easy to create, but DMAIPH can show you how. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can build a strategic plan to turn your company into analytics driven success story.

Every Conflict Is An Opportunity

There is a truth in the workplace that many of us spend a lot of time and energy trying to overlook. That truth is Conflict and while you can try to avoid conflict for a while, you cannot escape it.

This is especially true if you are in a leadership position in the workplace. Conflict — and, more specifically, conflict resolution — is your job. The more you are able to recognize it, understand it, and ultimately resolve it, the more successful you will be. Being a good communicator is a key way to be successful in managing conflict.

LinkedIn Blogger, Bernard Marr, recently posted, “The first step you can take is to prevent conflicts that are preventable — not all of them are, but by actually seeking out a potential conflict and taking steps to mitigate it, you’ll make your job ultimately much easier. For example, if someone on your team sends out a vague email that could easily be misunderstood, asking for clarification upfront could head off future conflict.”

Marr points out that “as a leader, you also need to be proactive in defining what is and isn’t acceptable and helpful in a given situation.” A great example is when team members in leadership positions send vague emails or do not include all the relevant information. This can quickly lead to confusion and poor performance. Many time the root cause of poor performance, bad decision-making and low morale can stem directly from lack of proactive communication.

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Back when I was a teacher, we would often talk about “teachable moments,” and every conflict is a strong teachable moment. When there are two sides, two opposing viewpoints, there is a remarkable opportunity for learning, innovation, and even team building. Getting the two sides to communicate and acknowledge room to grow on both sides is paramount.

According to Marr, “Great leaders don’t shy away from conflict or avoid it, but rather see it as a tool for bringing a team closer together. When there is a desire to resolve a conflict, it can be resolved — every time — and usually to the benefit of both parties.”

True leaders know how to use conflict to bring about positive and necessary change. They recognize that conflict is essential for an organization to evolve. With ever conflict we either have a crisis or an opportunity… I try hard to be proactive, to communicate and to always turn a conflict into an opportunity.

Analytics Leadership – DMAIPH specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization. Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to discuss a uniquely tailored strategy to ensure you are the top of your game when it comes to Analytics Leadership.