Big Data

Disrupt or get disrupted

Exceptional leaders get ahead of the curve and develop strategic options and playbooks to ensure their organizations leverage the opportunities to disrupt and lower the risk of getting disrupted. Enabled by low cost data storage, ever increasing sources producing exponentially more data (e.g., smart mobile devices and intelligent industrial systems), and innovative techniques for data analysis and insight drives, organizations are ramping up their investments in analytical capabilities using data to disrupt with innovative products and services and shift profit pools with entirely new business models. Big Data accelerates the pace of the data and evidence-based decision-making in the leadership ranks delivering a profound impact on how decisions will be made at the top.

Big data Analytics is a Leadership Problem – Not a Science Problem

Investing in organization capabilities, Data Scientists and technology is essential, but investment alone will not make analytics work for an organization. Analytics needs to be problem driven, requires managerial judgment, and transforms workflows, all of which are leadership challenges, not a scientific problem. While the Head of Analytics provides advice, insight and answers to tactical and strategic challenges, the entire leadership team will ultimately be accountable to drive implementation at the point of impact throughout the organization. The presence of the Head of Analytics at the top table will pollinate the working knowledge of data science across the leadership team, improving the overall organizational competence to frame risk probabilistic assessments to elevate the quality of decision making across the entire organization. As one leader recently remarked” “There is no lack of data scientists – rather a lack of data ready managers.”

We help leaders to build Organizational Muscle in Big Data Analytics

Egon Zehnder has advised many leaders and companies across different industries on how to build a world class data analytics organization. We have the proven expertise to identify the critical mix of leadership and functional competencies needed to build muscle in big data on the individual, team and organization levels. Starting at the top, the Head of Analytics or Chief Data Officer bridges all key functions between the executive team, the business units, analytics and IT. The big data leader orchestrates all internal and external resources and links big data initiatives to solving tactical and strategic business problems. Supporting the Head of Analytics are Data Scientists who deliver best in class statistical data models and algorithms. In addition, the business Data Analysts has domain knowledge and directly advises business leaders on how analytics can solve business problems. The Analyst frames problems, translates between the business and analytics, and has a spike in pattern recognition to connect the dots differently and provide new insights. Finally, the Data Solution Leader is responsible for data acquisition, management and system infrastructure today, and provides roadmaps for tomorrow.

Guiding questions for Leaders around big data:

  • Does big data provide an opportunity to disrupt in your industry?
  • How critical is your organizational analytical maturity to compete going forward?
  • Are your competitors or adjacent industries increasing investment in analytics?
  • Do you make strategic decisions based on rigorously quantified predictions, risk and probabilities?
  • What value does the organization extract from data analysis today? Do you leverage all data sources?
  • Do you have the skills and competencies in your organization to build organic analytical muscle?

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