Three Reasons Why Chief Data Officers (CDO) Need Data Transformation

We’ve talked to 100’s of CDO’s, CIO’s, and chief data leaders and have heard there are three primary data bottlenecks that impede digital transformation: a lack of continuous intelligence, data silos between business and IT, and data that doesn’t help prioritize.

Three Reasons Why Chief Data Officers (CDO) Need Data Transformation
Three Reasons Why Chief Data Officers (CDO) Need Data Transformation

This article explores the “flywheel effect”, and the ways CDO’s are playing a pitiful role in using data to unlock the agility and speed that drives growth. Are you ready to transform your data bottlenecks today?

Content Summary

CDOs, You Know It.
The CDO Vision
3 Data Bottlenecks
01 / Lack of real-time insight
02 / Data silos between business and IT
03 / Data that doesn’t help prioritize
CDOs, You Got This.
Conclusion

CDOs, You Know It.

Data enables digital transformation

Digital experiences drive business growth. But as expectations rise, experiences must too or perceived value goes down. (How Customer Experience Drives Business Growth, Forrester, 2018)

The Chief Data Officer (CDO) plays a pivotal role in helping the enterprise create “a flywheel effect,” to continually transform digital customer experiences and continually improve digital operations through data.

For the digital business, data unlocks the agility and speed that drives growth. But data is all too often also a bottleneck.

In short, your digital teams need a data transformation.

  • 2X More likely to have a clear digital strategy if the company has a CDO. (KPMG 2018)
  • 71% CDOs are helping to create the digital business vision for the enterprise (Gartner 2019)

The CDO Vision

Achieve a flywheel effect between data and digital excellence

The CDO plays a pivotal role in helping the enterprise continually transform digital customer experiences and continually improve digital operations.

Source: Adapted from Forrester 2019. Note: The term "flywheel effect" was popularized as a business concept by author Jim Collins.
Source: Adapted from Forrester 2019. Note: The term “flywheel effect” was popularized as a business concept by author Jim Collins.

3 Data Bottlenecks

CDOs must unclog data bottlenecks that impede digital time to impact

Data lakes have become data oceans. CDOs must now help the organization relearn how to swim.

On the following pages, we discuss the three data bottlenecks that the CDO must help alleviate to achieve the speed and agility needed for continuous digital excellence.

  1. Lack of real-time insight
  2. Data silos between business and IT
  3. Data that doesn’t help prioritize

01 / Lack of real-time insight

Continuous delivery requires real-time insight. And you’re not quite there.

You’re just another iteration from your next best digital experience. And another, and another…

The speed at which you can deliver your next best digital experience is a competitive weapon. That’s why many digital organizations have adopted agile delivery.

This has significant relevance to the CDO, because the bottlenecks that impede continuous delivery often relate to data. For example:

  • Are issues only discovered after enough customers complain?
  • Does it take more than a few days to get yesterday’s conversion data?
  • When your teams have a new hypothesis to validate, how long does it take to get the right data?

As your teams are identifying, diagnosing, and queuing up new work, new issues come in hourly. The digital organization is in constant delivery mode, but teams are stuck being reactive.

The CDO must enable real-time insight that helps the digital organization respond faster and more proactively.

Only 15% of digital leaders use metrics weekly, and only 6% use them in real time. – Forrester 2018

02 / Data silos between business and IT

The data gap widens between business and IT. How do you help these teams speak the same data?

Today, stakeholders across the digital team view the digital experience through their own lenses. Why wouldn’t they, when they’re measured differently, use different tools, and look at different data sources that tell them different things?

It’s especially pronounced between business and IT. For example: Does engineering close tickets because they can’t reproduce a problem that support handed off? Does IT ops complain that business owners don’t understand the requirements and timelines?

These aren’t trivial problems. They indicate data dissonance (and distrust) between two sides of the digital organization that need to be in lockstep alignment.

This is the challenge of “poor organizational data literacy,” which Gartner ranked the second biggest challenge for CDOs last year. (The first was “culture challenges to accept change.”)

The CDO must help business and IT teams speak the same data, building data trust and fluency between these groups.

IT closes tickets when they can’t reproduce a problem. – Every digital organization

03 / Data that doesn’t help prioritize

It’s hard to prioritize where to focus next. If only teams could quantify impact faster.

If you gathered key digital leaders across the organization in one room and asked them to name the #1 way to improve the digital experience today, would they give you the same answer?

Or is the biggest priority today the one that got the most feedback surveys, calls to support, or the attention of one of your executives?

It’s challenging to prioritize digital opportunities without knowing:

  • How many customers are or will be impacted
  • How much an opportunity is worth to your business, e.g. conversion, cost recovery, etc.

The CDO must help the digital team align priorities based on data-driven decision-making for every digital opportunity.

In God we trust, all others bring data. – W Edwards Deming

If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine. – Jim Barksdale

CDOs, You Got This.

Increase digital agility and time to market with these focus areas

Focus Area #1: Unlock continuous data streams

  • Define key customer and business moments that require near real-time response
  • Find the reports that must be evolved to continuous data streams.
  • Revisit the data constraints that inhibit ability to find answers fast, e.g. time-consuming eventing, or pattern detection that can be automated.

Focus Area #2: Bridge the data gap between business and IT

  • Identify the gaps in data-driven processes between business and IT teams.
  • Champion data platforms and integrations that enable cross-team collaboration; find opportunities to reconcile data sources.
  • Alleviate data dissonance with “culture hacking” that builds the shared data language and fluency.

Focus Area #3: Quantify impact to prioritize, then validate

  • Identify the bottlenecks that impede ability to quantify and prioritize digital opportunities, e.g. manual synthesis, multiple data owners and sources.
  • Find opportunities to automate correlations with conversion and revenue.
  • Improve the continuous feedback loop with easy data access that shows teams the impact of their work.

Conclusion

CDOs are pivotal to data and digital transformation

Your digital teams need a data transformation. To drive both customer and business value through data, help your digital organization go:

  • From [Lack of real-time insight] To [Unlock continuous data streams]
  • From [Data silos between business and IT] To [Bridge the data gap between business and IT]
  • From [Data that doesn’t help prioritize] To [Quantify impact to prioritize, then validate]
Quantum Metric is transforming how teams work together to deliver their best digital experiences faster.
Quantum Metric is transforming how teams work together to deliver their best digital experiences faster.

Source: Quantum Metric