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Interview with Bobby Shaik, Head of BI, Data & Analytics, Vodafone

Vodafone Head of BI – Data and Analytics Bobby Shaik shares his tips on creating a data-driven organizational culture

Defining the term ‘data driven culture’ can be a challenge as the term often means different things to different organizations.

In this interview from Data Champions, Online ANZ, Vodafone Head of BI – Data and Analytics Bobby Shaik reveals how he has implemented a shared vision for data and analytics in his company.

“In my view, [you need] a clearly aligned strategy for driving the company that is backed up by data [to have] a data-driven organization,” Shaik says. “From your CEO and your CFO to your top-down execs and the bottom-up people who are actually doing the work, [should all be] aligned to a combined vision that is driven by data and analytics – that’s a data-driven company.”

Walking the path to data-driven harmony

By leading his business on the journey to become data driven, Shaik created a blueprint that was replicated across Vodafone’s global network of companies.

His approach was to focus on the four key factors necessary to create a harmonious data-driven environment.  

“You have four layers in any data-driven organization to work in perfect harmony. The first is data, without data you can't do anything. To be a data-driven organization you need to have a centralized strategy for organizing data,” Shaik says. “Then there is the intelligence that goes on top, data doesn't matter if you don't have the right intelligence that is sitting on top to understand what the data is telling you.”

For these two layers to be effective they must be able to inform business processes and business decision-making. That is where integration comes in.

“Integration becomes a crucial part to take the intelligence to a business process, it's a bridge between intelligence and execution,” Shaik concludes. “The final layer is execution where everyone is signing up to using these intelligent algorithms or advanced analytics to drive business processes or to integrate with systems.”

Key Takeaways

  • Becoming data-driven requires a shared vision. From the CEO and the CFO to the people doing the work, creating a data-driven culture is a team sport.
  • Changing culture requires strong leadership. Winning the support of executive leadership is essential to drive cultural change throughout an organization.
  • Focus on data, intelligence, integration and execution. These four essential layers will help to achieve a data-driven approach to business problems.