With some new faces, some new organisations represented, and some familiar ‘data friends’ in attendance, what did we learn?
Interestingly whilst the number of newly represented organisations was a big plus this year (certainly from our perspective), the mix of challenges for senior data leaders remained strangely familiar.
Data leaders are still navigating the technologies that are sometimes thrust upon them from IT departments or more technically orientated leaders (yes, that’s you CIO/CTO), but mainly they’re dealing with the expectation that data will solve all ills, and why can’t the smart ‘data scientists’ (the catch-all role for any clever analyst) just magic up the answers. This is often where the real problems and challenges really begin.
It was a common thread in many of our conversations that data governance, data management, and data quality still appear near the top of the CDO to-do list. Ill-conceived data platforms, cloud migrations, and new technology ‘silver bullets’, still don’t help the organisation become more data-centric/savvy/literate (pick your term of choice). Data leaders are grappling with how to get these aspects solved and embedded as the organisation pushes (or stutters) on the big tech investments.
If this is the case, is the data world really moving forward, learning from the previous mistakes and making the most of the ‘new and shiny’? Or are most of the challenges, still just as big, complex, and complicated to navigate as before…proving that a data challenge is the same as any business challenge, that takes time, drive, tenacity, and a bit of luck?
So, data leaders are you facing:
- Data governance, quality, and management still not getting the air time it needs
- The struggle of how to get started with the shift to a new of thinking/working with data
- How to provide the assurance that the data products produced are ‘right’
- How to work with IT to get the best data structures in place to serve the business
…then don’t worry, you’re not alone!
It wasn’t the same, not having the after-meeting chats in the bar with old friends and new, but the event again provided a unique chance for senior data leaders from every industry to share experiences and genuinely learn from each other, whilst hopefully finding some answers to their challenges.
We will look forward to the next one, hopefully, face to face and at the bar, so we can join together and figure out how we put these data wrongs to rights!
Andy Crossley is a Director at the Oakland Group