Cultural Challenges that Organizations Face in Becoming 'Data-Driven' with Randy Bean

What is the biggest challenge for organizations becoming data-driven? In this episode of the DATAcated on Air podcast, host Kate Strachnyi talks with Randy Bean, CEO and Founder of NewVantage Partners. They discuss the cultural challenges that organizations face in becoming data-driven. Randy has spent the last few decades focusing on how organizations can leverage their data assets to become data-driven and gain a competitive advantage. He shares some great insights that you won’t want to miss.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • Technology vs. culture [06:38]
  • Data and AI Executive Survey [09:03]
  • What is data-driven? [11:01]
  • Fail fast, learn faster [16:53]
  • Challenging our assumptions with data [27:27]
  • Choosing the right CDO [31:15]
  • Nurturing data passion [40:58]
  • Overcoming data misuse [44:43]
  • Becoming more data-driven [47:37]

Helping companies develop data culture

Randy started his career in banking, responsible for an extensive repository of customer data. At the time, the data was destroyed after seven years. Randy realized that was a massive waste of opportunity, so he spent the next few decades focusing on how organizations can leverage their data assets to become data-driven and gain a competitive advantage. In 2001, Randy founded a boutique management consultancy serving as trusted advisors called NewVantage Partners. The company focuses exclusively on data and analytics and helping Fortune 1000 organizations leverage data, build a data-driven organization, develop a data culture, and innovate with data in business.

Technology is rarely the barrier to success. Since 2012, NewVantage Partners has conducted a survey of chief data officers and other C-suite executives from Fortune 1000 companies. The survey asks every year what the principal challenge is in becoming data-driven. Overwhelmingly the answer is culture. Not only is culture the primary impediment for organizations, but it’s growing.

Data and executives

Despite all of the investments organizations have made into data, business leaders aren’t deriving the type of value that they expected. Business leaders tend not to have confidence in the quality of the data. That creates various issues in terms of lack of credibility, lack of trust, and lack of confidence.

The Data and AI Executive Survey is a high-level senior executive survey. It asks about 25 questions of almost 100 executives from top firms. The idea for the survey came from a series of executive thought-leadership breakfasts Randy has hosted. These invitation-only breakfasts include C-suite executives typically from the largest financial services firms and life sciences such as American Express, Bank of America, CVS, Metlife, etc. In 2012 one of the executives asked if the term “big data” was a fad or if organizations needed to get serious about it.

Using data in organizations

In this day and age, data is proliferating and abundant. Organizations, individuals, and society have to learn how to deal with that and figure out how they can benefit. They need to look at the data, science, and facts to help guide decisions.

Technology can be used for good or ill. Media is an excellent example of this as it can be used to communicate things for society’s benefit or present a very select point of view. In that same fashion, data can be used for good or can be abused. Many organizations are focused exclusively on data for good initiatives, and people want to do the right thing with data. Corporations sometimes give data a bad name, but sometimes they also stand up for some of the things that are right in society.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Randy Bean

Connect with DATAcated

Subscribe to the DATACATED On Air podcast