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Iván Herrero Bartolomé:  Data and Analytics Leaders Must Define Their Data Strategy

Iván Herrero Bartolomé, Chief Data Officer, Grupo Intercorp shares how data and analytics leaders can pivot to strategy over tactics

In this week’s featured interview with our Global Top 100 Innovators in Data and Analytics, we talk with Iván Herrero Bartolomé, Chief Data Officer at portfolio management firm Grupo Intercorp.

Iván has been innovating in data and analytics for more than 17 years. Hailing originally from Spain, Iván built a data transformation startup in Peru that was acquired by Deloitte Colombia where he later worked as a Senior Manager of Digital Strategy.   


C: What do you think are some of the biggest challenges facing data and analytics leaders today? How do you think they can be overcome?


IHB: One of the main challenges is transitioning from a tactical view of data and analytics to a more strategic perspective. Many companies tend to focus on individual projects rather than embracing a comprehensive data strategy.


Overcoming this challenge requires a shift in mindset and a broader understanding of how data can drive transformation at the strategic level. Another significant challenge is changing the behavior of decision-makers in the company. It is crucial to move from simply delivering outputs to driving outcomes and ensuring that the business effectively uses the insights provided by data analytics.

To address these challenges, data and analytics leaders should prioritize patient persistence while maintaining a sense of urgency. It is essential to listen to the needs and pain points of the business counterparts, communicate effectively, manage expectations, and adapt to the evolving maturity level of the company.


C: In your experience, what does it take to be a successful leader in the data and analytics space? What characteristics or skills should aspiring data leaders focus on cultivating?


IHB: Passion for the field is a vital characteristic for success in the data and analytics space. It can be a challenging and sometimes frustrating journey, so maintaining passion and resilience is crucial.


Aspiring data leaders should balance patience with a sense of urgency, recognizing that transformation takes time. Effective communication is another key skill to develop, as it enables collaboration and understanding between the data and analytics team and the business counterparts.


Additionally, aspiring leaders should focus on listening to the needs of the business, finding ways to support their decision-making process, and building trust and respect within the organization. Being adaptable to the evolving needs of the company and understanding one's role in the transformation process are also important qualities to cultivate.


C: In a professional context, what achievements are you most proud of in the past year, and why?


IHB: One of my proudest achievements in the past year was successfully championing data and analytics capabilities across various companies within Intercorp.


Initially, our data capabilities were primarily focused on the bank, but we diversified and expanded to different sectors such as insurance, payment processors, supermarkets, department stores, healthcare, education, entertainment, and more.


We now have over 100 companies in the group with a data strategy, encompassing various dimensions. This achievement was significant because it allowed us to leverage data and analytics as a strategic tool and align it with the companies' goals.


C: What are you most passionate about when it comes to data and analytics? What do you think is too often overlooked or misunderstood?

IHB: What excites me the most about data and analytics is the power to transform companies, not just on a technical level, but in terms of changing behaviors and making companies more customer-centric.

By better understanding our customers through data analytics, we can anticipate their needs, increase loyalty, and make our companies more competitive. Unfortunately, the true value of data transformation is often misunderstood. Some companies focus only on building interfaces to interact with customers, neglecting the importance of collecting and leveraging data from those interactions.

The goal should be to use those data points to gain insights and truly understand customers, rather than just creating superficial interfaces. Data and analytics leaders play a crucial role in helping companies grasp this point and driving the value they expect from data transformation.

Download the full Corinium Top 100 Global Innovators in Data and Analytics 2023 report, here