What is a data leader?
And, why do you need one?
Unlocking the full potential of your data requires technology, business acumen, and – in our experience – usually a big dose of culture change. The results can be impactful, but achieving them requires focus and long-term dedication. And that’s where a data leader comes in: someone who will spend all of their time focused on ensuring that your organization has the right tools and technology in place, that engineers and analysts are focused on maximizing business value, and that programs are in place to increase data literacy and data usage across your organization.
For growth-stage businesses seeking to understand the power and potential of their data, an analogy from the sporting world may help. In 2021, Emirates Team New Zealand – a team known for its extensive use of data – won the 36th America’s Cup sailing race. Data – gathered through sensors placed on all parts of the boat to detect speed, wind and stress forces – helped inform the boat’s radical new foil design. Historical data about the course and competitors was used to inform race strategy. Real-time data was used during the race itself to fine-tune bearings, sail position and crew actions. Opportunities for data in your business can be framed in three analogous buckets. The boat is your product: data can be used to inform and improve the product and, in some cases, may be the product itself. Race strategy is your go-to-market strategy: data from across your sales and marketing efforts can help you to understand your customers, evaluate the competitive landscape, and focus your resources more efficiently. The race itself is your day-to-day operations: data can help you fine-tune customer support interactions, marketing campaigns, merchandising and product performance. The right data leader can help ensure that your company’s data put wind in your sails and help your teams steer in the right direction.