In conversation with Robert Lutton, Vice President, Sandhill Consultants, John Bottega, President, EDM Council, talks about the need for data literacy program training, and how CDOs should demonstrate the value they’re bringing to the table.
Sharing his experiences from his early days as a Chief Data Officer in 2006, he says that there weren’t many sources to learn from and that professionals got together to document the best practices and ideas as they came. Many companies came together and built a repository of information.
The research has been turned into the data capability assessment model, the bible of good data management practices, and good data literacy at the EDM Council. In doing so, it was realized that it isn’t just the data people — everybody has to be trained and educated. With the scale of privacy data at hand today, people need to know their responsibility in managing it.
Bottega mentions that the biggest challenge of implementing a data literacy program is time and prioritization, and also the misunderstanding that it takes too much time. He emphasizes, however, that investing time now will help organizations save a lot more time and cost in the future by canceling the need for things to be redone and rebuilt, and avoiding fines. It has to be understood that investment in education, data literacy, and proper design pays back in the long run.
The responsibility of selling these concepts lies with the CDO, Bottega continues. Chief Data Officers have to sit with the business and operations sides and demonstrate the value of good data hygiene and its business benefits.
Bottega then recalls one such instance from his CDO role with a bank. While the bank had high net worth customers, it also had its regular banking business. But it could not leverage the data to cross-sell because it was a siloed environment.
People supporting the corporations could also sell to the individuals, he notes. So all that needed to be done was that the data had to be cross-referenced and it solved the problem while opening up new business opportunities.