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Lead for Purpose. Connect with Trust. Make an Impact

My Impressions and Perspectives on the Gartner® Data & Analytics Summit 2023 – Part 1.

Contents of this blog series:

  1. Lead for Purpose. Connect with Trust. Make an Impact
  2. Governance is Even a Hotter Topic in the Era of ChatGPT, and 12 Steps to Address Data Quality for Good
  3. Data Lake / Mesh / Data Fabric and Everything in Between (The Active Metadata)


The 2
022 Gartner® Data & Analytics Summit set very high expectations for me. Last year I returned full of new perspectives and ideas (I shared them in the previous blog series), and I was very happy when this year’s summit not only met my expectations but exceeded them. 

“Trust” was repeated again and again as a common thread throughout the summit. It is no surprise that “trust” was in the title of the opening keynote with Rita Sallam and Kurt Schlegel (“Lead for Purpose. Connect With Trust. Make an Impact.”)[1], connecting “purpose” and “impact”.

In an unusual manner, the summit opened with real-world CDAOs interviews in the keynote [1]. We heard five stories about leadership, resilience and empathy. One after another, three inspiring female leaders, Dr. Brita Andercheck (CDO, City of Dallas), Kappu Ramasubramanian (Disha Consulting) and Nichola Hopkins (SVP Global Head of Data Solutions, Marsh), shared their stories about the management of organizational change, turning resistance into relationships, and communicating successful growth.

As in any good story, after the climax came an unexpected turning point. Rita Sallam shared that 69% “of Data & Analytics leaders are still struggling to deliver measurable Return on Investment.”[1] Whereas these statistics come from CDOs (survey) firsthand, according to Rita Sallam, the Gartner point of view is different: CDAOs do bring value to their organizations, the challenge is being able to narrate the business value by articulating the insights story and making it actionable for the organization. For this reason,  the Enterprise Value Equation was launched.

benefits of the gartner enterprise value equation
(Diagram: Gartner Opening Keynote: Lead for Purpose. Connect With Trust. Make an Impact, Kurt Schlegel and Rita Sallam, Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023.)

There were dedicated sessions just around Enterprise Value Equation. For me, it all boiled down to the ability to talk in business language, connect D&A projects to business initiatives, and focus on long-term goals as well.

To support this framework, Rita Sallam and Kurt Schlegel [1] gave an example of the S&P 500 Market value shift from the prevalence of financial factors (revenue, cost reduction) to the premium associated with financial influencing factors (brand, innovation, know-how and data).

financial influencing factors account for 90% of S&P 500 Market Value
(Diagram: Gartner Opening Keynote: Lead for Purpose. Connect With Trust. Make an Impact, Kurt Schlegel and Rita Sallam, Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023.)

The speakers suggested refraining from building business cases around “new shiny things” like ChatGPT, and instead concentrating on ROI. They gave examples of an implementation of the Enterprise Value Equation for Data Governance in an equipment manufacturer,  and an implementation of Enterprise Value Equation D&A for sustainability that resulted in a 30% carbon footprint reduction in a retailer use case.

However, implementing such a vast strategy in times of constant shortage of talent can prove to be a challenge. Kurt Schlegel suggested that the solution might be found in “Quiet Hiring”: focusing on Internal mobility, and on people development. Another solution is establishing D&A” franchises” in each department: that entails cross-organization consistent standards, definitions and technology. The best way to start, according to the speaker, is to identify departments, inventory people, processes and tech, then recruit the franchise owner, “the operator.” Start with one franchise, and communicate its success to expand, he recommended. 

The long-term focus was another key subject addressed in the keynote. According to the Gartner CDAO Agenda Survey for 2023, only 30% of CDAOs were committed to personal development, even though it correlated positively with their performance and subsequent growth within the organization. The speakers presented a model called of “Socially Centered Leaders,” which was invented by Gartner already ten years ago, and links to the “Head-Heart-Hara” or ”Mind-body-spirit”: Data speaks to the rational, the head; emotional intelligence speaks to our intrinsic motivation, the purpose.; and the foundation is our personal power strength. The result is an alliance of all our dimensions expressed through actions. It also allows us to own failures and learn from them to achieve personal and professional growth.

In my next blogs, I will elaborate on some of my insights about other topics that were discussed and struck a chord with me, such as Governance, Data Mesh and Data Fabric, Active Metadata, and the direction in which the data business is going.

[1] Gartner, “Gartner Opening Keynote: Lead for Purpose. Connect With Trust. Make an Impact,” Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023.
* GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

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