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Data Privacy Day 2015

January 26, 2015 — 2 Comments

I have written two articles for this year’s Data Privacy Day (#DPD15) endeavors . One will be published in the February issue of Information Age (www.information-age.com) and is online now (see link below) & the other is on the IBM Big Data Hub (www.ibmbigdatahub.com) going live on January 28th as a feature on DPD. I encourage all of you to visit these sites;

Information Age: “Personal Privacy, Internet Commerce and National Security: Can they co-exist?” (http://bit.ly/1JsRU6P)

IBM Big Data Hub: “Some Thoughts for Privacy Day 2015” (http://ibm.co/1z6RvUY)

2015 is going to be a critical year in determining the future of Personal Privacy in all respects e.g. Protecting Students Privacy, Reigning in Data Brokers, Thwarting Cyber Attacks, Curtailing Government Surveillance and Snooping, a Refresh of the EU Data Protection Act, President Obama’s “Privacy Bill of Rights”, etc. I believe that it is essential that everyone take an agressive role in managing and protecting their Privacy, along with that of their family members. 

Remember that Privacy is a basic Human Right in many parts of the world and a Civil Liberty in the US. It can only be maintained, much less reinforced if you take an active role in not only protecting your own, but those around you, especially your children.

(Image courtesy of the Online Trust Alliance)

Nexus (noun). “a connection or series of connections linking two or more things”.

Predictive Enterprise (noun). “The use of predictive capabilities (data, information & analytics) to optimize decision making, mitigate risk and exploit insights for competitive advantage”

Anyone who has read this blog and my many articles in Information Age (www.information-age.com) on the subject of the Chief Data Officer (and its many variants i.e. Chief Analytics Officer, Chief Digital Officer, etc.) over the past year or so is no doubt quite aware that I am neither a fan, nor supporter of the notion of a “Data Czar”. I have attended numerous conferences on this topic and have read the entire litany of rationalizations written by so many out there as to why this role is critical in today’s enterprise. Everyone, except me it seems, is full enamored with this notion and are all happy to cheerlead its success even if they don’t have one of their own yet (you know who I am referring to here). I myself have decided to take a different path than the rest of the pack.

Having pondered, much less experienced first hand the challenges of “How to evolve into a Predictive Enterprise” I want to address the three essential challenges associated with this journey; Executive Leadership, Strategy and Culture. Each provides a critical element of success and yet have been left out of much of the Data & Analytics conversations to date (I touched on all three in my last blog series on “Transformational Leadership for Big Data & Analytics Success”). My aim now is to change that and make them front and center in the discussion going forward while combining them with the technology components of Data, Information & Analytics.

When I was developing the notion of The Data Leadership Nexus in my mind I was focused on how to bring all of the key components together in a way that would ultimately create an aggregate response to the needs of a Predictive Enterprise. The most obvious components of the Nexus are the ones that most everyone dwells on; Data (big and small), Information (data with appropriate context) and Analytics (statistical, descriptive, predictive & cognitive), with the less-obvious being the three critical enablers of Executive Leadership, Strategy and Culture. All are not necessarily equal in significance at any particular point along the Predictive Enterprise journey, but all are necessary nonetheless.

For the moment my working definition of the Data Leadership Nexus is as follows;

The Data Leadership Nexus connects Data, Information, Analytics, Executive Leadership and Organizational Culture to create strategic impact, differentiation and enterprise value within every organization striving to become a true Predictive Enterprise). The Data Leadership Nexus represents the single biggest opportunity to realize the benefits that have been extolled about Big Data and Advanced Analytics and is the linchpin for establishing “a culture of analytics” which fosters evidence-based decisioning, deep insights, full knowledge exploitation and optimized strategic performance while making all such activities pervasive across their enterprise. To me it is the realization of everything data-related that we have been working towards for more than 50 yrs. now in Management Theory, Decision Science and Technology.

Having established the definition and rationale for The Data Leadership Nexus, the next step is to define the means to a successful journey to become a Predictive Enterprise.

The first step, and absolutely the most critical, is to firmly establish the role and accountability of Executive Leadership in this nexus. In my last blog post of July 25th (“Data & Analytics Leadership: Missing in Action”) I made the case that the CEO, Board and Senior Executive Team have essentially been MIA during the entirety of the data & analytics journey to date and that if this does not change fundamentally then the benefits of being a Predictive Enterprise will never be realized. I will expand on those beliefs and more in the next installment of The Data Leadership Nexus, entitled “Leadership Requirements in the Predictive Enterprise.”.

Stay tuned.

Richard

In the two previous installments of this series, I focused my viewpoint on;

1.- Defining a Leadership Paradigm for Big Data & Analytics Success

2.- Establishing Top-Down Accountability

In this final installment I will focus on the roles that optimized Organizational Design and broad Cultural Adoption play in the success of any Big Data & Analytics Success Story.

Suffice it to say, you cannot simply establish Top-down Accountability within the Leadership Hierarchy and expect to achieve real transformation. You must also create a “to be” Organizational Model that is optimized for the strategic mission and the realization of its outcomes, as well as bringing the entire Organization’s Culture on board to support this vision and the pursuit of the outcomes that come with it. Without these critical Organizational endeavors you will not be successful with your Big Data & Analytics Transformation no matter how strong of a Leadership Hierarchy you have created.

Your Leadership Hierarchy (beginning with the CEO & Board and then cascading down to Senior Executives and their subordinates) is collectively responsible for making realizable all of the Big Data & Analytics strategic outcomes as part of their overall operational plans and activities. To accomplish this the Leadership Hierarchy must approach the challenge with an optimized Organizational Structure that has been designed to be fit for purpose for this task and not one where you are trying to leverage a legacy structure that cannot adapt to this new mission. This has been one of the classic mistakes so far as Organizations’ attempt to “bolt on” their Big Data & Analytics strategy to existing structures, rather than address Organizational Design requirements as part of the strategy itself. Examples of this is the use of Competency Centers and Centers of Excellence as catalysts to create critical mass for Big Data & Analytics. Each time this approach is advocated and ultimately undertaken, poor results and a dissipation of Leadership buy-in results as they are not leverageable across the entire Enterprise and typically only serve the needs of the few and not the many. Quick fixes and Organizational band-aids will not work if you want Big Data & Analytics to be truly pervasive. Organizational Design is a process that supports the CEO & Board in moving from Strategy to its successful execution and will require appropriate investment and disruption of the status quo. It is an essential component of achieving the Strategic Outcomes that manifest from your Big Data & Analytics Strategy and should not be undertaken as an after thought. Like any other critical component of the Organization and its Operating Model it must be fully deployed at the time of your Transformation journey as one of the required elements for success .

Secondly, Cultural Adoption is the most critical challenge associated with any Big Data & Analytics strategy and must be fully appreciated, much less addressed at every point along the journey. It can be an accelerator or a de-limiter (much less killer) of any strategic journey and is the total responsibility of the Senior Executive Team to facilitate. Leadership from the top-down has its risks and the most substantial one is not engaging sufficiently and earnestly with the Organization’s Culture. Most of this risk manifests in the multiple layers of management & supervision between the responsible executive and their front-line staff. Culture cannot be changed by edict (or fiat), but rather must be motivated to adapt by a compelling strategy that is lead from the top-down with substantial hands on activities by the executive team to make it real and essential to each staff worker who make up so much of the Organization’s Culture. This cannot be achieved by what is called Change Management. Change Management is little more than cheerleading and communications, with far too much focus on training. It is a poor (if not failed) substitute for truly engaged Leadership working in the trenches to instill & empower all of the front-line staff to embrace Big Data & Analytics and make it truly pervasive in  their daily activities and mindsets. Every Organization that has been successful at real Transformation knows well the requirement to engage with the Culture and to motivate it to not only Adopt the new operating model, but become “rabid fanatics” about its virtues along the journey. Big Data & Analytics Transformational Strategies are no different and if anything, offer unique opportunities to completely transform an Organization from backwards, gut-driven decisioning to one that leverages information & analytics at every turn to be not-only fact-based decision makers, but a true Predictive Enterprise.

To Transform your Organization to become a Predictive Enterprise where Big Data, Information, Analytics and a Fact-based Culture all are leveraged to achieve sustained Competitive Advantage, Disruptive Results  and Market Dominance requires; Top Down Leadership & Accountability, an Optimized Organizational Structure and an Evolved/Engaged Culture. If any of these are missing or sub-optimal then the Strategic Outcomes projected within anyone’s plans will not be realized.

I will write on these same themes as I provide live blogging from this coming week’s MIT Chief Data Officer (CDO) & Information Quality Symposium in Cambridge. The agenda is quite full of interesting opportunities to provide a contrarian viewpoint on CDO vs. Transformational Leadership

RL

PS: I am launching in August & September a new series of thought leadership articles in Information Age (www.information-age.com) and at Data Leadership 2014 (www.dataleadership.co.uk) on the notion of “The Data Leadership Nexus”. These are meant to be a logical extension to this blog series on Transformational Leadership. Here is an overview:

The Data Leadership Nexus is the intersection of Data, Information, Analytics & Leadership to create strategic impact, differentiation and enterprise value within every organization. It represents the single biggest opportunity/challenge in realizing the benefits that have been extoled (and often hyped) about Big Data and Advanced Analytics. It is also the linchpin for establishing “a culture of analytics” and making it pervasive across each enterprise and is clearly the most ignored strategic risk in virtually every organization.

July is shaping up to be a busy month in terms of Editorial that I will be pushing out.

Below is a handy reference:

July 2nd – IBM Big Data & Analytics Hub – The Privacy Corner: – “Data brokers: Just how much should they know about you?” – http://ibm.co/1j9vXNK

July 3rd -16th – IBM Developer Works – “Champion Spotlight” – (http://ibm.co/1j2NyfB)

July 11th– InfoMgmtExec.me Blog – “Transformational Leadership for Big Data & Analytics Success (series)Part 2.- “Top Down Accountability”

July 15th – Information Age – July 2014 Digital Issue – “Leadership in the Age of Disruption” – (http://bit.ly/1sU3yol) http://www.information-age.com

July 23-25th – The 8th MIT Chief Data Officer & Information Quality Symposium (Cambridge, MA) – Live Commentary Twitter: InfoMgmtExec & Daily Blogging: Infomgmtexec.me

July 20th– InfoMgmtExec.me – “Transformational Leadership for Big Data & Analytics Success (series)Part 3.- “Organizational Design & Cultural Adoption”

Week of July 21st: Live Blogging from MIT Chief Data Officer & Information Quality Symposium

End of July – August & September: IBM Big Data Hub – The Privacy Corner: “Privacy & Social Experimentation”, Information Age (September Issue): “The Data Leadership Nexus”

 

June in the PNW

After a very long journey back from the UK including sleeping on a bench in Terminal 6 at LAX (along with many other Stranded Passengers & Generally Homeless Folks) I am now back in Washington where Spring has finally arrived in all of its glory (you can just see Mt. Rainier in the background, a barometer of good weather here). It is a welcome sight given how grim it was when I left at the beginning of May.

I begin my summer with a flurry of activity including; two pieces for IBM this month; 1x for the Big Data Hub Privacy Corner on “Privacy, Big Data & Analytics: A Perfect Storm” (http://bit.ly/SAC9qX) and 1x on “Attaining Big Data & Analytics Literacy” for the IBM Data Magazine (due sometime soon) and the roll-out of the digital version of my Information Age article “Why you still don’t need a Chief Data Officer” appears.

I will be following these up with new pieces on Privacy, Analytics Leadership and a no doubt controversial piece with a working title of: “What do Chief Data Officers and their Advocates do besides attend conferences, engage in shameless self-promotion and search for Unicorns?” Stay tuned for updates on these.

One of the highlights of the Summer will be the MIT CDO & Info Quality Workshop in Cambridge in late July where I hope that we can have a “CDO Throw-down” to liven things up. I will be reporting live from this event which should be a great build up for the Information Age “Data Leadership 2014” Event in London this fall.

Cheers & Ta for now.

RL

2014 IBM Champions for Information Management

The IBM Champion Program recently announced its list of 2014 Participants. I was very pleased to hear that I had been chosen for the 2nd year as a Champion for Information Management, joining 200+ of my IM peers across the world as well as other Champions representing Analytics, Rational and other key domains. I promise to work even harder than last year to support perspective & existing InfoSphere customers in their Information Management endeavors as they work to leverage their Small & Big Data with Advanced Analytics to create compelling sources of Competitive Advantage and points of differentiation in their market space.

I will report in along the way to let you know how the Program is going this year and if I can be of any assistance to those who are contemplating using components or the entire suite of InfoSphere products please feel free to reach out to me.

Richard

My month long visit to the UK winds down today. I travel back to the PNW tomorrow and will hopefully be greeted by better weather than when I left.

For the past two weeks I have been staying in Nethy Bridge in the Highlands at my friend Bob’s estate – Aultmore. For anyone contemplating a visit to this area it is an excellent option to consider.

I spent my fortnight re-familiarizing myself with the area having lived here in the past. I made a visit to Glencoe and the Great Glen, the Cairngorms, Findhorn, Laggan, Spey Bay, Elgin and many other stops along the Spey.

The highlight of my visit was my weeks’ fishing on the Spey at Craigellachie, a fantastic 3-mile beat on the middle Spey. No caught fish to report, but it was fabulous being back on the water again and working my way through all of the pools and fast water with my new Sage gear.

I was also very pleased to see that the Craigellachie Hotel is now open again after its major refurbishment (the whisky bar there is one you must visit), along with visible signs of major progress at the Macallan distillery in its expansion efforts. I also enjoyed some great food and drink in Aberlour at the Spey Larder and newly updated Aberlour Hotel.

In total my “May in the UK” was a very successful and relaxing trip. I participated in a number of great events in London, along with getting deep into the planning for Data Leadership 2014 this fall where we will focus on supporting business leaders in assuming their natural accountability for their organizations Big Data & Analytics endeavors.

Finally, I met with a number of my strategic planning peers at the Strategic Management Forum and Strategic Planning Society where we got deep into “all things strategy”. Some great things on the horizon for both of these bodies which I strongly support. Stay tuned for more developments on this front.

Look for my next posting on the IBM Big Data Hub (June 8th) where I will get deep into the challenges associated with Big Data, Analytics & Privacy. My Information Age June article “Why you still don’t need a CDO”, has created a lot of interesting dialog which will continue to build as we get ready for the MIT CDO & Info Quality confab (July – Cambridge) where I am hoping that we can have a true ‘CDO Throw Down”.

Cheers,

Richard