Archives For #BigData

The Data Leadership Nexus is a path to success when it comes to realizing the numerous business benefits of Big Data and Advanced Analytics which have been extolled by so many in recent times and yet realized by so few. It is the linchpin of your Strategic Plan for building & sustaining “a culture of analytics” to foster evidence-based decisioning, deeper & broader insights, full knowledge exploitation and optimized strategic performance while making these behaviors pervasive across your entire enterprise. In my mind it is the path to realize everything data-related that we have been working on for more than 50 years now in Management Theory, Decision Science and Information Technology.

By definition: The Data Leadership Nexus is the intersection of; Top-Down Executive Leadership, A fully aligned Organizational Culture and the full exploitation of Data, Information, Analytics to create strategic outcomes, sustainable sources of competitive advantage and enterprise value within every organization that wants to become a Predictive Enterprise.

I define a Predictive Enterprise as: “The use of Predictive Capabilities driven by data, information & analytics to; optimize decision making, facilitate strategic & operational outcomes, mitigate risks and to exploit insights across the entire Enterprise”

The Data Leadership Nexus is comprised of these basic components;

  • Top-Down Leadership (by the Senior Executive Team)
  • Data, Information & Analytics
  • Organizational Culture 

Each component was discussed in detail in previous postings. They can be found using the following links;

#: Overview & Introduction:  https://infomgmtexec.me/2014/08/05/overview-the-data-leadership-nexus/

#: The Motivation behind The Data Leadership Nexushttps://infomgmtexec.me/2014/07/25/data-analytics-leadership-missing-in-action/

#: Top-Down Leadership:   https://infomgmtexec.me/2014/08/11/leadership-requirements-in-the-predictive-enterprise/

#: Organizational Culturehttps://infomgmtexec.me/2014/08/28/the-role-of-organizational-culture-in-the-predictive-enterprise/

#: Data, Information & Analyticshttps://infomgmtexec.me/2014/09/09/data-information-analytics-as-core-competencies-in-the-predictive-enterprise/

#: Additional Background Material: “Transformational Leadership for Big Data & Analytics Success” (Three-part series): 

  1. https://infomgmtexec.me/2014/06/27/transformational-leadership-for-big-data-analytics-success/
  2. https://infomgmtexec.me/2014/07/11/transformational-leadership-for-big-data-analytics-success-part-2-establishing-top-down-accountability/
  3. https://infomgmtexec.me/2014/07/20/transformational-leadership-for-big-data-analytics-success-part-3-organizational-design-cultural-adoption/

In future postings I will discuss; “How to Build & Successfully Execute your Transformational Plan for becoming a Predictive Enterprise using The Data Leadership Nexus as a Strategic Enabler”. 

The Data Leadership Nexus has five basic components;

1.- Top-Down Leadership (by the Senior Executive Team)

2.-4.- Data, Information & Analytics

5.- Organizational Culture 

We have explored Top-Down Leadership (#1) and Organizational Culture (#5) in previous postings and will now discuss the combined components of Data, Information & Analytics (#2-4).

In the Data Leadership Nexus the role of Data, Information & Analytics are what Michael Porter calls Core Competencies: “a defining capability or advantage that distinguishes an enterprise from its competitors”. They are not the underlying technologies, associated infrastructure and services that the IT Team is responsible for and what most of the industry conversation continues to myopically focus on i.e. Big Data. Instead, they are the inherent intellectual capabilities & acumen found broadly within the Organization and pervasively utilized across the entire Enterprise. It is in these Core Competencies where we manifest the ability to become a true Predictive Enterprise. The Predictive Enterprise is not a technology, it is an Intellectual and Cultural Construct for Creating Strategic Outcomes for each Organization.

The Core Competencies of Data, Information & Analytics compliment others which are specific to the Industry or Service Sector that the Organization serves e.g. Supply Chain in Manufacturing, Logistics in Consumer Goods, etc. They are that critical pillars that every Organization’s Strategies need to be built on and are ubiquitous in use by everyone within the Enterprise i.e. Core.  Every organization leverages and exploits their Core Competencies to create points of differentiation, drive operational excellence, manage risk appetites and to create/sustain other sources of competitive advantage in the modern enterprise.

As Core Competencies; Data, Information & Analytics drive everyday activities to achieve pervasiveness. Sustainable Competitive Advantage comes from the full leverage of these competencies in respect to the competition or other benchmarks (as found in the Government sector). Typical examples of the leverage points within the Core Competencies of Data, Information & Analytics are the following;

  • Data Curation: The continuous development, enhancement & stewardship of historical, reference, transactional & operational data sources to create the highest intrinsic value and agility for the Organization.
  • Information Exploitation: The business contextualization of Curated Data to create maximum leverage points in support of all Strategic, Tactical & Operational Goals set out by the Organization.
  • Pervasive Analysis: The continuous application of statistical, descriptive, predictive and cognitive decision science to Contextualized Information sources for use in Decision Making, Customer Insights, Risk Mitigation, Performance Improvement and Other endeavors that each member of the Organization is responsible for.

Each Core Competency has companion technical domain activities that are the Responsibility of the IT & Service Delivery Team(s). A collaborative framework is established between Data Leadership and IT/Service Delivery to insure maximum effectiveness and efficiency. IT & Service Delivery works in concert with the Accountable parties in Data Leadership (via a mutually defined RACI) to maintain, sustain and optimize the underlying infrastructure and delivery solutions such that the Strategic Value of the Data is maintained/enhanced and that all Information & Analytics competencies can be fully realized. This approach will typically require new structures in the traditional IT functional suite as well as its Leadership Team. These obstacles are easily overcome once the Organization has established a fully accountable Top-Down Data Leadership structure, strong Strategic Direction and a newly defined Organizational Culture which is driven by the beliefs that; Information is an Asset, Evidence-based Decisioning is the norm, and that the pervasive use of Analysis is the critical path to Real-time Insights, Risk Awareness & Business Agility.

Data, Information & Analytics are no longer outliers in respect to the Short and Long-term Strategies of every Organization. They are constituent components of every Organization’s Strategy in the form of  Core Competencies which must be fully leveraged and exploited to achieve the desired Outcomes and to create/sustain Competitive Advantage in a world where differentiation is hard to achieve and razor thin in scale. Each of these must be utilized to their fullest to create and sustain a Predictive Enterprise.

The Predictive Enterprise has three essential elements for Strategic Success; Effective Leadership, A Committed Organizational Culture & The Exploitation of its Core Competencies. In the next installment of The Data Leadership Nexus we will discuss the Integration of all these elements, along with supporting functions which are required, to achieve a full Transformation of the Legacy Organization into a true Predictive Enterprise.

In the meantime you can follow The Data Leadership Nexus discussion on Twitter via the #DataLeadership hashtag, in the September and October issues of Information Age (UK) (www.information-age.com) and at Data Leadership 2014 in London (October 30th) (www.dataleadership.co.uk). Finally, I will also be setting up private briefings for those Enterprises who are interested in how to transform themselves into Predictive Enterprises for this Fall in the US and UK. If you are interested you can contact me via email: richard.lee@infomgmtexec.com

Thanks for following along.

RL

I have a number of Thought Leadership items slated for going live in August. Below is a listing of their titles and publication dates.

  • August 1st (WordPress Blog Series): “The Chief Data Officer: – Superhero, False God of Data or Fashion Statement? – Reflections on the MIT 8th Annual CDO & IQ Symposium” (Cambridge, MA) (www.infomgmtexec,me)
  • August 5th (WordPress Blog Series): “Overview: The Data Leadership Nexus” (www.infomgmtexec.me)
  • August Early (approx) – IBM Big Data & Analytics Hub: The Privacy Corner – “Privacy and Social Experimentation” (www.ibmbigdatahub.com). If you want to follow all of my blogs on the Big Data & Analytics Hub use this link to set up an RSS feed: (http://www.ibmbigdatahub.com/blog/feed/richard-lee)
  • August 11th (WordPress Blog Series): “The Data Leadership Nexus: Leadership Requirements in the Predictive Enterprise” (www.infomgmtexec.me)
  • August Late – Sept. Early: Information Age: Monthly Column – “The Data Leadership Nexus” (1st installment in this series) (www.information-age.com)
  • August 30th (WordPress Blog Series): “The Data Leadership Nexus: Organizational Change” (www.infomgmtexec.me)

Keep an eye out for calendar updates and additional postings.

Enjoy!

RL

I am presently waiting in the Boston Airport for my flight home to Seattle after attending the “8th MIT Chief Data Officer & IQ Symposium” this week and wanted to reflect on the above while the thoughts were still swirling around in my head.

The Symposium was extended by 1/2 day to support discussion on “Bridging the Data Science Talent Gap”. There were presentations from Industry, Consultants/Recruiting & Academia with almost a singular focus on the so-called “Data Scientist” (a fictional character resembling a Unicorn in my opinion) and how to create them, find them and leverage them for success. As expected given the demographics of the audience and the presenters the point of view was very much through the lens of technology with a smattering of business speak to provide some balance.

What was so obviously absent from the entire dialog was the role of Business Executives as Leaders of the Data & Analytics Initiatives across their enterprises. Instead, they were relegated to the role of providing the vision (a very limited one), funding, head count requisitions, capital investment funds, consulting contracts, etc. in support of the Chief Data and Analytics Officers, the CIO/CTO and Other Interested Parties and their plans of action. A clear belief was indicated by many that Business Executives were just not up to the task of Leadership. Why is that one should ask?

From my vantage point as an Executive Consultant I have seen this dynamic play out many times and the root case is that the Senior Executive Team is “Missing in Action”. There is a total disconnect between the Strategic Leadership that they provide and the requirements to successfully execute the Disruptive Strategy that Data & Analytics portends. This must change and immediately.

Today’s Senior Executive is not shy when it comes to expansion of their operational portfolios or the pursuit of risky endeavors such as Credit Default Swaps (CDS), Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), etc. especially when it feathers their nest or vanquishes the competition. However, when it comes to Data & Analytics they are Missing in Action (MIA). This situation has created a management conundrum. Senior Executives cannot be Masters of their Universe when they do not understand the fundamentals of Astrophysics. In other words, their strength (and success) manifests from deep domain knowledge and acumen and applying these to creating sources of competitive advantage for their organization, not cheerleading a disruptive change in their business model which they neither understand nor can work from a position of strength to drive to success. In spite of being strong believers (and advocates) for Data & Analytics the vast majority of Senior Executives are not Analytics Literate. They have never worked in an evidence (or fact) based decision making environment, much less one where everyone across the Enterprise leverages Information & Insights in every task they are responsible for. I could go on for quite a bit more here, but will leave that for later.

I believe that we need to immediately change the dialog in the Data & Analytics Community from “Big Data, Data Scientists, Chief Whatever Officers, Data Lakes, etc.” and focus on Executive Leadership Development (not IT) and determine how to put the entire Senior Leadership Team on a trajectory where they can ultimately assume the Full Accountability for all Strategic Outcomes from applicable Data & Analytics Strategies and Plans. If we do not change this Organizational Dynamic in short order all bets are off.

I will be developing an overview of how to accomplish this in my upcoming series (and presentations) on what I am calling “The Data Leadership Nexus”. Look for an overview of this in early August.

RL

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”

 

Churchill_V_sign_HU_55521As many readers of my articles, blogs and other social media postings well know I am a strong advocate for Business Leaders taking full accountability for all of the Big Data & Analytics strategies & initiatives employed across their enterprises. This accountability manifests from the fact that they are not only positioned at the pinnacle of all strategic endeavors within their organization, but have full responsibility for the stewardship of all Assets as they are defined in both a tangible and intangible fashion. Having said this the $64,000 question that lingers is: “Are they prepared, much less competent enough to take on this accountability?”. The answer for the most part is a resounding NO.

Why is this? As I outlined in my June 2014 article in IBM Data Mag (http://bit.ly/1vvhwea) and April 2014 article in Information Age (http://bit.ly/1j16Vk6), the paramount issues regarding the successful adoption and exploitation of Big Data & Analytics are two-fold: Business Leadership Shortcomings & Lack of Cultural Adoption. Both are very much inter-related and one takes its cue from the other i.e. Culture follows Leadership for the most part. The articles speak to the specifics in more detail than what I will address here, but let me excerpt a few salient quotes;

  • “Today’s Executives & Managers are trained primarily in Operations, Finance, Marketing & Sales, along with a bit of Strategy thrown in for good measure. If you review the profiles of the vast majority of senior executives about 50% have an advanced degree in their field of expertise (MBA, JD, CPA, etc.) but virtually none have been schooled in Decision Science, Information Theory, Analytics or Risk Management.”
  • “Organizations’ remain hierarchical in both structure and cultural behavior today. To change either of these requires engaged & competent Senior Executive teams who are committed to the outcome and will influence & align behaviors to support it.”
  • “The Big Data & Analytics paradigm is based on the notion that Organizations must more fully exploit their information assets and move to a culture of fact-based & data-driven decisioning in order to create new sources of sustainable competitive advantage in a disruptive world around them. To accomplish this, you clearly must engage all elements of the organization, not just a select few. Everyone must make this cultural shift away from hierarchical thinking & “gut-based” decision making to one where the full hierarchy is empowered based on their role & responsibilities to perform analysis and to make decisions as close to the “customer” as possible”

Based on all of this, I will get back to the theme of this posting; “The need for true Transformational Leadership to insure the pervasive success of Big Data & Analytics”. This was the message that I hammered on during this week’s #CXOAnalytics tweetchat with Tom Davenport and John Lucker (Deloitte, who sponsored the tweet-up) and will continue to reinforce at the upcoming MIT #CDOIQ event as well as in my presentation at October’s “Data Leadership 2014” event in London (http://bit.ly/1wFl2n2). I cannot emphasize to everyone enough that we are not going to solve this challenge by appointing Chief Data Officers, Chief Digital Officers, etc. to act as “Communicators and Influencers” between the IT Organization, Risk Management and Business Leadership. No matter what the pundits say and prognosticate, it is not a sustainable model and distracts from the true issue at hand – “Getting Business Leaders to rise to their Accountabilities”.

In my management consulting experience, much less as an executive in senior roles across my career, I have never seen Business Leaders shrink away from the opportunity to take on more and more strategic responsibilities in order to grow their portfolios as well as to deliver transformational results to their business. So why are they not taking ownership of Big Data & Analytics? We know that they are out there cheerleading these efforts based on customer testimonials and event presentations, but virtually none of these same folks “own, much less are fully accountable for its success (or failure)”. Most continue to leave this to IT or some surrogate. I believe that this is due to a lack of any fundamental competency, acumen and mastery in information theory, data science and analytics which leaves them extremely deficient in confidence, vision and leadership potential. In other words, “You cannot lead if you don’t understand what it is you are asked to lead”.

To overcome this we must take actions in the following areas;

1.- Define, Fund & Execute – Mentoring, Coaching and Instructional Programs to bootstrap the current generation of Business Leaders up the level of knowledge (and confidence) required to Lead existing Big Data & Analytics endeavors.

2.- Identify candidates for Next Generation Leadership roles and Mentor & Educate them to advanced levels of competency and acumen such that as they mature into more senior roles they have both the foundation in Big Data & Analytics required, but the hands-on leadership skills (and organizational knowledge) to succeed.

3. – Engage with the Organization’s Culture at Large to make the Big Data & Analytics Vision and its exploitation “Job No.1” for everyone. This engagement requires not only top-down leadership to drive it, but appropriate Change Management and Organizational Design experts to facilitate Cultural Adoption in the Transformed Organization.

These three points each merit a number of detailed follow-up postings which i will focus on for the balance of this Summer, but I did want to live up to the spirt of my title; you need “Transformational Leadership to achieve Big Data & Analytics Success”.

Cheers,

RL


May in the UK

April 26, 2014 — Leave a comment

I will be leaving for the UK on May 3rd to spend a month in London and the Scottish Highlands. I am hopeful for good weather in both locations as it has been so miserable here in Seattle this past Spring and Winter.

During my stay in London I will be participating in the following Conferences/Events:

1.- The Chief Data Officer Summit at the Kensington Close Hotel (http://www.chiefdataofficersummit.com/) (held in conjunction w/ Data Today). I will be tweeting from the event representing Information Age and writing an article on the event for Information Age readers.

2.- The Software Defined Anything Symposium – SDx at the Langham Hotel (http://www.information-age.com/node/50422). I will be keynoting on the topic of “Privacy Engineering for a Software Defined World”. See my article in the May issue of Information Age for a preview of my comments.

3.- OVUM’s Industry Congress 2014 at the Victoria Park Plaza ( http://www.ovumindustrycongress.com ). I will be there with my Information Age hat on and will be tweeting from seminars on Data Management & Data Governance, Digital Strategies and Others topics

4.- Insurance Strategies Perspective – Solvency II Event (http://www.insurancestrategyperspectives.com/news/?page_id=25) – Central LondonI will be there to hear the latest from UK/EU Thought Leaders on the Solvency II Scheme.

Additionally, I will be meeting with colleagues from the Strategic Planning Society, the Strategic Management Forum, Source for Consulting & PCG as well as a number of Business Transformation consultancies. I am looking forward to talking shop with a number of seasoned leaders and practitioners in this space of the consulting market.

Following on to my two-weeks in London are two weeks up in Scotland where I am staying at Bob Dylan’s Highland Estate, Aultmore. (http://www.aultmoreestate.com/) in my favorite village of Nethy Bridge (where I lived in 2006-2007). I will be climbing some Munros, visiting Glencoe and Atlantic Salmon fishing for a week on the Middle Spey at Craigellachie (http://www.fishpal.com/Scotland/Spey/Craigellachie/) with Ghillie, Dougie Ross. This will be the highlight of my trip for sure. Stay tuned for updates and photos of all “The Springers” that I catch (and release) during my fishing.

Finally, I am going to do a detailed study on the new range of Macallan 1824 Series Single Malts (http://www.themacallan.com/the-whisky/the-1824-series/). It just happens that The Macallan distillery is across the River Spey from the Craigellachie fishing beats so…. I will report in on my study as it progresses.

Sláinte