Data Analytics Leaders & Digital Transformation

What Kind of Data Analytics Leaders should companies hire to help enable Digital Transformation?

With Gartner naming Data Analytics competence within organisations a key indicator of digital transformation success, it seems appropriate to look at ideas around what kind of Data Analytics leaders organisations should look for to enable this competence.

With heavy customer focused industries such as Retail, Financial Service, Healthcare, going through difficult and arduous Digital Transformation, the need for Data Analytics Leaders to help facilitate these processes is even more pressing & competitive in what is a talent short executive space.

The crucial need in many organisations is for Data Analytics leaders to plug into corporate strategic planning.  Companies require Data Analytics strategies to become a regular topic of conversation in the Boardroom, yet the expertise rarely exists currently at that level and many traditional Data Analytics leaders are not equipped with the corporate experience to step up to that level.

So, what are the things that companies need to look for in their Data Analytics Leaders when looking at Digital Transformation:

  1. Auto-Didact: The Data Analytics space is changing so fast.  Stand still for 12 months and you are out of date.  The best Data Analytics leaders should be constantly self learning, attending conferences, talks, industry events, whatever they can to ensure they are keeping up with the pace of change.

 

  1. Boundary Pusher: The Data Analytics leader must be able to push the boundaries of off an organisation looking to implement Digital Transformation (they must be given the means to do this by their organisation but that is for another piece.)  They must be willing to and have strength of personality to challenge the status quo & change process & procedures

 

  1. Collaboration: The Data Analytics leader must be able to collaborate across teams, bring disparate individuals and teams within and organisation together.  They should be able to build strong peer relationships across the business

 

  1. Know the Business: They should implicitly understand not only the business they are working for but also the sector in general.  They should be a business expert in the sector, understand how value is created, how profit is created, the levers that are pulled to increase sales & profitability etc.

 

Of all these competencies it is often number 4 that is most overlooked and most lacking in many Data Analytics leaders.  “Well, Data is Data” at the end of the day is often the counter argument.

That doesn’t wash in this brave new data driven world, particularly with companies looking to drive Digital Transformation.  It is knowing the business like a sector expert that will allow Data Analytics leaders to plug into Board level & corporate strategy most effectively.