In this episode, Jason Foster interviews Ed Wynn, a fractional Chief Data Officer, and one of Cynozure’s Consultants.
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The perception of data has changed over the years, but the value and impact it gives to organisations don’t change.
[00:27] Ed shares his background as fractional Chief Data Officer
[05:33] The value of data is slowly recognised
[21:51] Organisations’ biggest mistakes in approaching data
[25:45] The value you get from the value you give
[30:34] Good governance in unregulated industries
It’s been just a few years since Data Officer was established as an important position in successful organisations. Data was just a matter of compliance in some companies in previous years. But nowadays, people realise the vital role data plays in the success of a business. It has now become a fundamental part of every business. Data processed is the key to monitoring organisations effectively. From just mere pieces of information, data became an air to breathe for businesses.
Paradoxically, even before the importance of data was recognised, it was already essential in business processes. Every department in an organisation produces data to be utilised by another department in order to produce their own. It used to be that data was processed at departmental level, so was focussed on whatever field it was from. Now, it is processed as the general knowledge for the entire business.
Mistakes are easy to make when it comes to approaching data. One of those is hiring a key person for a role and instantly expecting this person to address and assess the problem once and for all. It involves a process and it depends on the problem and its severity for it to be addressed, assessed, and then action taken. It is not just an overnight job. Don’t just hire someone and expect that problem will immediately vanish.
Solutions to a problem aren’t only the tools used, but also the manpower that will handle the problem. Just as the answer isn’t only given by a qualified employee, it will also not solely be made by the tools. Train a qualified person to use the tools and bring value to the company along the process. Not only does that diminish the severity of the problem, it also brings about benefits to the organisation. Good governance is also an absolutely must in order to effectively implement the solution.
Never rush things and trust the process. Think big but start small. Aim to not only address the problem but also think of what really is the desired outcome. With this, one can formulate efficient steps to achieve business while minimizing risks and problems.
A good Data Officer remembers that what you give is what you get. The value of the data that you input will also be the value of output data. Data is horizontal and it needs to be something that can influence and positively impact the organisation.
In regulated businesses, the business outcome is maintaining good regulatory control, and doing the right thing by both your customers and the regulator is a business outcome. But even in non-regulated businesses, there are things that are required for good governance such as good control, good auditing, and tracking purposes that seem like foundation and costs, not value-add. These are necessary inputs for valuable data.
Perception about the role of the data might have changed, but the intrinsic value has not changed over the time. The impact it had on organisations in past decades is comparable to the value it gives now that data is properly recognised.
Organisations should contemplate how they use data in solving organisational problems, as they may be able to improve on earlier pitfalls.
The input value of the data is directly proportional to the outcome. To ensure the value of the output data, first ensure the quality of data being processed.