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[Radar Recap] Building an Enterprise Data Strategy that Puts People First

Cindi Howson and Valerie Logan discuss how data leaders can create a data strategy that puts their people at the center.
Mar 2023

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Guest
Cindi Howson

Cindi Howson is the Chief Data Strategy Officer at ThoughtSpot and host of The Data Chief podcast.

Cindi is an analytics and BI thought leader and expert with a flair for bridging business needs with technology. As Chief Data Strategy Officer at ThoughtSpot, she advises top clients on data strategy and best practices to become data-driven, speaks internationally on top trends such as AI ethics, and influences ThoughtSpot’s product strategy.

Cindi was previously a Gartner research Vice President, as the lead author for the data and analytics maturity model and analytics and BI Magic Quadrant, and a popular keynote speaker. She introduced new research in data and AI for good, NLP/BI Search, and augmented analytics and brought both the BI bake offs and innovation panels to Gartner globally. She’s frequently quoted in MIT,Harvard Business Review, Information Week and is rated a top 12 influencer in big data and analytics by Analytics Insight, Onalytca, Solutions Review, and Humans of Data.

In 2022, CDO Magazine named her a Leading Data Consultant, and Global Data Power Woman. In 2021 she was named data leader of the year by Women in Data and as a finalist for motivator of the year by Women Leaders in Data and AI.

Prior to joining Gartner, she was founder of BI Scorecard, a resource for in-depth product reviews based on exclusive hands-on testing, contributor to Information Week, and the author of several books including: Successful Business Intelligence: Unlock the Value of BI & Big Data, Analytics Interpreted, and SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0: The Complete Reference.

She served as The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) faculty member for more than a decade. She serves on the board for Drexel University’s LeBow Business Analytics program and is a volunteer for Girls Plus Data, Women in Data, and the Mark Cuban Foundation, AI bootcamps.

Prior to founding BI Scorecard, Howson was a manager at Deloitte & Touche and a global BI standards leader for Dow Chemical. She has an MBA from Rice University.


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Guest
Valerie Logan

Founding The Data Lodge in 2019, Valerie is committed to data literacy. She believes that in today's digital society, data literacy is a life skill. With advisory services, bootcamps, a resource library and community services at The Data Lodge, Valerie is certifying the world’s first Data Literacy Program Leads and pioneering the path forward in cracking the data culture code.

Previously, Valerie had joined Gartner in 2015 in the Data and Analytics group, where she covered information management strategies, advanced analytics and related change management topics. She was a member of the Office of the CDO research team, where she led Gartner’s Annual CDO Survey, as well as the CDO Circle executive training and networking event. She pioneered research in the area of Data Literacy and nurturing the “speaking of data” by creating Information as a Second Language (ISL). In 2018, she was awarded Gartner’s Top Thought Leadership Award for her leadership in the area of Data Literacy.


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Host
Adel Nehme

Adel is a Data Science educator, speaker, and Evangelist at DataCamp where he has released various courses and live training on data analysis, machine learning, and data engineering. He is passionate about spreading data skills and data literacy throughout organizations and the intersection of technology and society. He has an MSc in Data Science and Business Analytics. In his free time, you can find him hanging out with his cat Louis.

Key Quotes

If there's a recurring mistake I see, it's when someone shows me their data strategy, and it's only a pure data focus—whereas success is when you look at it holistically; it’s people, business and vision.

When it comes to building a data strategy there are five key blocks—Vision, Value, Governance, Organization Design, and Culture.

Key Takeaways

1

Enterprise data strategy should align with business goals to help ensure the needs of end-users are met. This should be continually monitored and improved upon across a range of areas in the business, including; people, processes, outcome alignment, technology and culture.

2

To implement a new data strategy in an earlier-stage business, try to weave and embed a data-first culture throughout all of the parts of the business that you can. The more people and processes a data strategy can affect, the more impactful it will be. 

3

The people aspect of creating an effective data strategy is particularly important because people are harder to change than processes or technology. The way people think about and approach problems with data can be difficult to change, especially at scale, so more focus is needed to make sure that changes to align people with data are executed well and retained in the long term. 

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