How can data professionals become better leaders, own their strategy and have a seat at the table?

1.4k views9 Comments

Senior Vice President, Product Design and Data Analytics in Finance (non-banking), 1,001 - 5,000 employees
It’s worth starting with a couple of questions: How does one define their calling? As a data professional one needs to have a clear way to measure what one has been doing. Is that in alignment with short-term and long-term career goals? Consider a data compass, akin to a moral compass. Having a seat at the table with leadership is not a calling, it’s more so an outcome. There’s a degree of influence one can cast on an organization after delivering a business impact.

The other aspect is to build grit and resilience. It’s not a simple role where one could follow a couple of steps and deliver what it’s worth. There’s discovery, setbacks, adaptation and setbacks again. The underpinning motivator is a sense of purpose, alignment with strategic goals and never losing sight of the problem to solve. 

Finally, nothing is as worthwhile as teamwork. One comes to work with an intention to use data to make someone’s life better — whether that’s peers, colleagues, superiors or end customers. A humble heart is what gives us energy to build something larger than ourselves. Some of these traits are often seen in people who bring a growth mindset to work and have shaped up into great leaders.
Chief Information Technology Officer in IT Services, 201 - 500 employees
Good data professionals are still few in number. However, becoming a master data professionals  strategy opens the doors to many opportunities. I believe without ongoing training and education in data analysis, it would be difficult to be worth. Indeed, it is a set of skills that you can combine with those acquired during your past experience. You thus acquire a particularly attractive hybrid profile on the labor market.

Director of IT in Transportation, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
staying ahead of the changes, focusing on spending in the correct area, and listening to staff.
CIO in Services (non-Government), 1,001 - 5,000 employees
To be a better leader you have to have a better game plan not only for today but the future which is much more important.  Those that see the future and how they can get there will always be winners if they have a doable strategy.  Too many companies have a game plan for 2 years at best and they fall by the wayside as more innovative companies take the lead.  This strategy only works if you have everyone on your team contributing and making mid-course corrections.  No company is guaranteed to last forever since the failure rate of all companies is greater than zero.  Look at companies over the last 100 years and see the few that existed for 100 years or less and then vanished.   Kodak and DEC are 2 prime examples of companies at their peak had over 100,000 employees and overnight they vanished.  The real question is what they could have done to avoid it and that is the real topic of discussion.
Vice President Information Technology in Finance (non-banking), 201 - 500 employees
In my opinion, data professionals have all the privilege and skills to be the first one to know what data speaks about. With a bit of sharp analytical skills, one can become the early adapter of the technologies which can serve the need of the upcoming business requirements and get an edge there.
Customer obsession is the key here and data professionals might get this first hand information easily. Accordingly the data professionals can build their strategies to meet the future requirements which will eventually give edge to the business and will be helpful to get their seat at the table.
Board Member in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Let's break down the question into 2 parts.

1. How can they become better leaders?
Who is a leader? Someone who can show people a path that they will willingly go down to. The leader does not tell them how to, it is up to the persons wanting to be at a place. So data professionals need to invest in their ability to help their team mates find the way to success.

2. Owning your strategy is a worthy goal if your strategy is differentiated and delivers. Else an attempt to push a bad strategy will only alienate you from the powers that be. And that is obviously a bad decision in your quest to have a seat on the table.

What does "seat on the table" mean? You are an equal and contribute to the overall company beyond your function. Your views and opinions are worthy a listen and merit discussion. Getting there is just a milestone, retaining the seat is a long journey with your continued contributions. 
VP in Construction, 51 - 200 employees
The number of data professionals is dwindling, there is a serious decline. For the few still honing their skills, training and more training is the watchword. Every one of us need to remain at the top, intellectually, business acumen, and being able to understand the dat world, not just the dat world, business and technology world.
Director of Information Technology in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Read about trends
Have open dialogue with staff
Engage VARs
Manager in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees
Some tips that may be helpful include:
1. Be a thought leader: Data professionals need to be at the forefront of their field, sharing their insights and expertise with others. This can be done through writing articles, speaking at conferences, or teaching courses.
2. Be a strategic thinker: Data professionals need to be able to think strategically about their organization's data and how it can be used to achieve business goals. This means being able to identify opportunities and threats, and develop and implement plans to take advantage of opportunities and mitigate threats.
3. Be a team player: Data professionals need to be able to work effectively as part of a team. This means being able to communicate effectively, collaborate with others, and provide support when needed.
4. Be a problem solver: Data professionals need to be able to identify and solve problems. This means being able to troubleshoot issues, identify root causes, and develop and implement solutions.

Content you might like

Every time12%






1.3k views1 Upvote

CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
Read More Comments
46.9k views133 Upvotes324 Comments




Non-production DBs (Dev, Training, QA, etc.)30%


1.5k views1 Upvote