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How Data & Culture Unlock Digital Transformation

February 7, 2022

Chief Data & Innovation Officer at Gulf Bank, Mai AlOwaish, outlines how a people and data-first approach can unlock the value of digital transformation for organizations across industries.

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Key Takeaways


The term digital transformation is a misnomer: Digital transformation is often looked at through the lens of technology. But technological investments, without changing culture and habits, will always lead to dead-ends.


Data is at the heart of digital transformation: To succeed in digital transformation, organizations need to focus on ensuring that data becomes part of organizational habits.


To succeed in upskilling, drive excitement: Mai's team launched the data ambassador program in Gulf Bank, which created a groundswell of excitement within the organization around picking up data skills and data tools. If you create a community around learning, you'll succeed in scaling data skills.

Key Quotes

If you have the right data and the right platforms, but the wrong people — or just the wrong mindset — digital transformation will not succeed.

When we started the data ambassador program, there was a lot of hesitation by the team. I received a lot of questions stating "Is data really for me?". After the first session, the same people were calling stating how excited they are to learn more and do more because they understand that they're part of the transformation and that data is for everybody and not for the technical people in the back

About Mai AlOwaish

Photo of Mai AlOwaish
Mai AlOwaish

Mai AlOwaish is a seasoned information systems and data analytics expert with 18 years of experience between Kuwait and the United States. She spearheaded a variety of data analytics and e-commerce initiatives and enabled digital transformation for financial institutions, retailers, airlines, and more. Mai has orchestrated the Data Ambassadors program to start a data-driven culture and enable business users to self-serve with analytics across the organization.

Photo of Adel Nehme
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.

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