At our current pace, we produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. And with the rapid growth in data analytics, data will only continue to evolve and grow.
However, companies are already drowning in the massive amount of accessible data. If we don’t do something about it, this problem will only get worse as the data volume increases.
In this episode of the Data-Driven Leaders podcast…
In this episode of the Data-Driven Leaders podcast, our host Christina O’Reilly welcomes David Lloyd, the Chief Data Officer at Ceridian. They get into the importance of understanding the ‘why’ of your organization before understanding the ‘why’ of your data. They also talk about data-driven cultures and ways to minimize risk when handling large volumes of data.
*Show notes and key insights below…
Listen to Episode 4: Using Data to Fuel Your Company’s Performance
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Using Data to Fuel Your Company’s Performance: Episode 4
⚡When dealing with large volumes of data, start by figuring out why data is important for your organization. With the flood of information coming at us daily, it’s getting harder and harder to make sense of it. That’s why we need to start asking the right questions. David suggests we start by understanding the ‘why’ of our data. Why does your organization exist, and where can data make the biggest impact?
“One of the things I find is that it’s almost become overwhelming for most organizations because they’re trying to eat the elephant in one bite, and they can’t do that. The volume of data that’s coming at them doesn’t allow for that. So they have to be discerning, and I think we’re so busy in our day-to-day lives and our business lives that I’m not sure that we’re stepping back and asking ourselves, ‘What are the four or five things that we would love to know about our business? […] What’s the root benefit of it? Do we capture data that is actually going to matter in answering those questions?’ I think that’s the starting point.”
⚡ We don’t have to be data scientists, but we do have to be data curious. With the world becoming more data-driven every day, companies need to keep up and should strive to adopt data-driven cultures. David says that doesn’t mean we should be data experts, but we do need to be curious about data.
“It starts with making sure that the people that you’re hiring have a focus on actually understanding or utilizing data, and I think that’s one aspect of it. […]. Everybody can’t think like a data scientist. They don’t have a math background. They don’t have many things that would make a data scientist truly excellent at what they do. But curiosity about data is what I would look for when I’m hiring.”
⚡ With powerful data comes great risk. Here’s how to minimize it. Data is only powerful when you know how to handle it properly. But with great power comes great risk. David and Christina talk about possible ways to minimize that risk.
“Before we get into all the fancy stuff, if you don’t know where it came from and you can’t trace it back, that’s your first problem. So you need to know what’s the source of that data. You need to understand that lineage. The next step is: what is the quality of that data? Is it accurate? Does it represent data that’s been modified in some way, shape, or form? So there’s that aspect of it, and then there’s the transformation of it — putting it into a format or augmenting it in a way that provides better value to the organization.”
Episode 4 Highlights
💡Start small and fail fast
“Start small because one of the things I can tell you is that, especially as organizations move from being informed to predicting and acting, you will fail a lot if you’re really taking the right risks and trying to use data effectively in machine learning applications, or in general intelligence applications or automation applications.[…]
In fact, you need an executive that understands that you are going to fail, and the objective is to fail fast with this data and then move on. So I think that that’s a core thing to keep in mind.”
💡The role of the CDO
“The first thing you talked about right off the bat is governance. But even before governance, data consent, and data rights, all these different things can come into play. So to me, part of the role of a chief data officer, or even the CIO acting initially in that vein, is that you have to really partner carefully with the organization.
[…] So there’s a data consent part that, for us, has a tight relationship with not only our product organization but also our legal organization, as well as our customers from a data consent and data privacy [viewpoint].”
💡The IPA model — Inform, Predict, Act
“The truth of the matter is that most customers are still trying to get to the proper informed stage to ask the right questions and, at least, have the right data that they can go after. But it’s good to have this kind of capability model or this maturity model of where to go as you’re checking the box. ‘Okay. Inform — we’re doing well.’ Now, what do we want to start predicting? If we can learn that early, what changes our business, or drives or quantifies value, and things like that.
So that’s how that came together. I wish I could tell a romantic story about why IPA, but it’s really just the order of operations in my geeky sequential brain that thinks of things in that way.”
About Our Guest: David Lloyd
💡What he does: He’s the Chief Data Officer at Ceridian.
💡Noteworthy: David’s entire career has been shaped by data in some way. This ultimately led him to become the CDO at Ceridian. He considers himself “a data hack from a long time ago.”
💡Where to find David: LinkedIn