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Data-Driven Cultures Start at the Top

Big Data

  • There is an explosion of valuable digital data generated by consumers as we live our daily lives.
  • Advances in technology such as AI, Machine Learning and Cloud Computing provide numerous ways to leverage the data.
  • Apart from having Big Data, companies need to have an analytical mindset and culture, merging the best minds with technology.

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Data-Driven Cultures Start at the Top

Data-Driven Cultures Start at the Top

https://hbr.org/2020/02/data-driven-cultures-start-at-the-top

hbr.org

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Key Ideas

Big Data

  • There is an explosion of valuable digital data generated by consumers as we live our daily lives.
  • Advances in technology such as AI, Machine Learning and Cloud Computing provide numerous ways to leverage the data.
  • Apart from having Big Data, companies need to have an analytical mindset and culture, merging the best minds with technology.

Data Governance by Top Executives

Like any other discipline, becoming good at analyzing data requires seasoning and experience. Executives with deep analytical expertise, sitting on the top of the organizational charts are responsible for spreading a culture of evidence-based, data-driven decision making.

This also ensures that data quality, data hygiene, implementation of data management and data privacy are respected and adhered to.

Analytical Thinking Routines

The larger group of non-executives need to reinforce proper analytical techniques, and while not everyone can be an elite quantitative analyst, there is a certain basic level of proficiency that can be attained.

Employees need to be provided with project opportunities and made to attend training academies that provide the specific activities to be completed for increasing their analytical capability.

Organizations that invest in senior-level expertise and reinforce daily analytical activities will be able to take advantage of Big Data to expand and evolve in the future.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The ABCDs of categorizing decisions
The ABCDs of categorizing decisions
  • Big-bet decisions: infrequent and high-risk - from major acquisitions to game-changing capital investments;
  • Cross-cutting decisions: frequent and high-risk - think pricin...
Approaching big bet decisions
  • Appoint an executive sponsor to work with a project lead to frame important decisions for senior leaders to weigh in on;
  • Break things down (with decision meetings at each stage), and connect them up.
  • Focuses on debating the solution (instead of endlessly elaborating the problem) and gather the right people.
  • Move faster without losing commitment: get comfortable living with imperfect data and being clear about what “good enough” looks like.
Approaching cross-cutting decisions
  • Identify decisions that involve a cross-cutting group of leaders, and work with the stakeholders of each to agree on what the main steps in the process entail.
  • Work through a set of real-life scenarios to pressure-test the system in collaboration with the people who will be running the process.
  • Limit the number of decision-making bodies, and clarify for each its mandate, standing membership, roles etc.
  • Create shared objectives, metrics, and collaboration targets.

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Learners are made, not born
Through the deliberate use of practice and dedicated strategies to improve our ability to learn. But many people mistakenly believe that the ability to learn is a matter of intelligence, an immutable ...
Effective learning=organizing your goals
Effective learning boils down to a type of project management. In order to develop an area of expertise, we first have to set achievable goals about what we want to learn. Then we have to develop strategies to help us reach those goals.
Thinking about thinking

Metacognition (thinking about thinking) is about being more inspective about how you know what you know. It's a matter of asking ourselves questions like: Do I really get this idea? Could I explain it to a friend? What are my goals? Do I need more background knowledge? Or do I need more practice?

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“The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is gu..."

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook
Skills Needed In Digital Leaders
  • Work together, complement each other, and function as a team.
  • Able to operate on and enable environments that are more dynamic, team-centric, and connected.
  • Lead and build teams and partner with the broader ecosystems, keep people connected and engaged, and drive a culture of innovation, learning, and continuous improvement.
  • Lead a workforce that includes contractors, the contingent workforce, and crowd talent.
  • Understand how different business functions, industries, and technologies come together to form solutions.
  • Comfortable and competent with risk-taking.
Demographics And Leadership Destiny

Millennials expect to be developed via opportunities, mentoring, and stretch assignments. However that is hard to come by in top-heavy companies. 

Most millennials think their roles provide little development while most companies report they have excellent or adequate programs for Millennials.

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David Collis - Harvard Business School professor

“Most executives cannot articulate the objective, scope, and advantage of their business in a simple statement. If..."

David Collis - Harvard Business School professor
Invite Dissent To Build Others’ Commitment

An executive needs those she leads to translate strategic insights into choices that drive results. For people to commit to carrying out an executive’s strategic thinking, they have to both understand and believe in it. But repeated explanations don’t necessarily increase people’s understanding and ownership of strategy. Making them discuss the pros and cons of it make it so the problem is better understood and flaws are identified and fixed increasing ownership for success.

Identify The Strategic Requirements Of The Job

When someone is promoted into a function that requires strategic leadership it’s easy to spend time fixing what was wrong in their previous function but that often isn’t what the strategic leadership position requires. So, identify the strategic requirements of your job and focus on them.

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2,000 decisions per waking hour

Research has shown that the typical person makes about 2,000 decisions every waking hour. Most are minor ones and we make them automatically. But many have serious consequences.

That's why...

Decision fatigue

Our ability to perform mental tasks and make decisions wears thin when it’s repeatedly used.

Identify the most important decisions you need to make, and, as often as possible, prioritize your time so that you make them when your energy levels are highest.

A steady state of distraction

Our brains process five times as much information today as in 1986. Thus, many of us live in a continuous state of distraction and struggle to focus. 

To counter this, find time each day to unplug and step back from email, social media and news.

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The model of future work

By 2030, up to 30 to 40 percent of all workers in developed countries may need to move into new occupations or upgrade their skill sets. Skilled workers in short supply will become even scar...

Employers should lead the way

The pace and scale that technology disrupts is a social, political and business challenge.
Employers are best placed to make a positive societal impact, for example, by upgrading the abilities of their employees and equipping them with new skills. Employers will also reap the greatest benefit if they can successfully transform the workforce in this way.

Talent is the largest barrier

Talent is the largest barrier to the successful implementation of new strategies.

Many leading businesses realize that it is quicker and more financially prudent to look internally and develop the talent they already have. Yet only a third of global executives report that their organizations have launched any new reskilling programs.

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The power of taking on extra jobs
The power of taking on extra jobs

Many managers and leaders focus obsessively on their current jobs. They don't believe they can be successful without that single focus.

However, most realize that to advance your career...

The value of strategic side gigs

A survey of 122 senior executives from a variety of industries agreed that outside engagements were critical to leadership success now and in the future.

Meaningful engagement should be in activities that expose you to different people, information, and cultures, but is synergistic with your personal interests and your current or future primary work. Think of yourself as having a portfolio where your job is in the middle, the outside activities surround and complement it, and you use what you've learned to advance each sphere.

Finding the time for a side gig

Although executives face a high demand on their time, private and public sector leaders believe that you can find the time if you make it a priority. (Although you may have to give up some nights or weekends.) Make sure you deliver in your job and for your family, then take on additional responsibilities.

Try to spend 10% to 20% on these "extracurricular" activities. The amount needn't be consistent every week or month.

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Benefits of self-sufficiency

The current pandemic will make many of us see the benefits of relying on locally sourced food and goods—instead of products demanding long and distant supply chains.
Self-sufficiency is power -...

Adoption of solar panels

The current pandemic hasn't had as consequence a power outage yet, but there is this risk, in certain places.
Solar panels mark the move away from a more or less centralized system supplying electricity. The benefit of decentralized systems is, simply put, that they don’t have central points of failure (and a way to do the right thing for the planet).

Adoption of drone technology

Drone have been known so far mostly for their surveillance potential.
Now that the ability to get goods without human touch is a more appealing value proposition than ever. During the pandemic however, we could use them to deliver all sorts of products (food, medicine) to the doors of any self- or forcefully quarantined person.

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The Conscience of an Organization

Certain organizations have the capacity to transform themselves, if the leader who is in charge, has the vision and the will for it.

It's not very often that short-term profitability and a se...

The Power of One

A leader with clarity of conscience and a readiness to speak up can make a difference, and contribute to the greater good of humanity.

Cultural change can be made possible even if a middle-level or lower-level manager puts together a radical vision and gathers momentum from his peers.

Sequential skill development

Taking challenges continuously, big or small, contributes to your 'challenge taking' skill-building, preparing you for bigger milestones in the future.

The skills that are built, eventually operate in different areas, sometimes in unplanned and unanticipated situations. 

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