QA Group is working in close partnership with Carruthers and Jackson to deliver consultancy and learning interventions to help executives, senior stakeholders and the wider organisation understand how to deliver transformational value from data. The following is part of a series of ten blogs by Caroline Carruthers, re-published with permission especially for QA's customers and for any other organisation seeking revolutionary opportunities from the best use of data.


Our previous blog raised the issue of the 'hype cycle' when discussing the ability of the new CDO to shift between the tactical and the strategic.

Currently the CDO role is relatively new in many organisations, and even if it is not, the CDO will arrive into an atmosphere of great expectation. There will be common sentiments that will greet the new CDO: 'the ;business will be transformed into a data driven business, an organisation capable of making better and more informed decisions based on data, Data Science will bring the business better insight into its customers and operations, the new CDO will bring Big Data'. Data risks on the business risk register may even have the arrival of the new CDO as a mitigation.

There will be great expectation about the arrival of the CDO, however there will, in most cases, be a lot of good will and enthusiasm in the business for data success. One of the biggest threats to the CDO, certainly in the first 24 months, or first 1.5 financial years, is the 'Trough of Disillusionment' in the hype cycle.

Data is a new profession at C-Suite level; colleagues, the board or the business may be expecting quick results from the new data driven world. The CDO must navigate their way around this hype, if they do so successfully they will maintain credibility and sustain the all-important good relationships across the business. What tools sets are required to avoid the hype cycle?

As mentioned in the previous article, excellent communications are a good starting point. The CDO must communicate the data vision and strategy effectively across the organisation. This communication will be critical to manage the expectations and time scale of the delivery.

Second is incremental value-add. Often a data strategy can be delivered as separate projects, or initiatives within the overall program. I have found that often pilot projects, or feasibility studies, can not only add value to the business by fixing an immediate issue, but can also show the business the art of the possible, helping to avoid the hype cycle. Alternatively an early delivery of a data governance framework, or a piece of advanced analytics providing new insight can also be very effective.

The effective CDO will plan out a range of tactical deliveries that fit within the total strategic direction and communicate this well to the business, and the hype cycle will be avoided.

(With thanks to Roberto Maranca).

About QA Group

QA helps individuals and organisations achieve their potential through world-class Learning Strategy and Solutions. This includes: training and certification, innovative Talent Solutionsthat solve both business critical skills and capability gaps, Business Transformation solutions, enabling change and transformation through engagement and education of workforces, and Managed Learning Services. In addition, QA provides consultancy, apprenticeships and post graduate degrees on a range of technical, business and leadership subjects. With over 22 UK training centres – including Apprenticeships, Consulting and Cyber Academies – and a range of online learning options, QA offers an unparalleled set of learning solutions to both private and public sector organisations.

About Carruthers and Jackson

In the world we live in, data is recognised as an asset but organisations are still struggling with how to drive the true value from it. We look to all the exciting advances being made around innovations like Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (augmented intelligence), but if organisations don't get their data right first, they are just building houses of cards. Carruthers and Jackson was set up to make sure this doesn't happen to you.

For more information on the products and services Carruthers and Jackson offer, please visit www.carruthersandjackson.com

About the author

Caroline Carruthers was the first Group Director for Data Management for the Lowell Group and was the first Chief Data Officer for Network Rail. She has been a data cheerleader for more years than she can remember, and is a strong advocate of getting the basics right, and as such she adheres to the KISS principle (Keep it Simple, Stupid) in her approach to even the most complex issues. She is passionate about technology, and as a trustee for CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), she champions a growing professionalism of data and information-related disciplines so we can achieve 'data nirvana' a bit quicker.

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