Ahead of the IBM CDO Summit, earlier this week we held an IBM CDO Webinar in which Inderpal Bhandari (IBM’s Global CDO) shared the steps that he has taken during his tenure at IBM to create a truly Cognitive Enterprise, as well as top tips for you to utilize in your own organization’s data program, and also took attendees’ questions live.
I wanted to share with you my top ten key takeaways from the session.
Takeaway 1: Transformation Starts with Data Strategy
The first thing that a CDO must do is formulate their data strategy, as everything else flows from this. In order to do this, the CDO must figure out how the company is planning to monetize itself. This doesn’t necessarily mean how they make money today, but also must be about planning for the future. For the data strategy to be successful and relevant, it must be working to support the company’s wider motorization strategy.
Takeaway 2: Establishing a Deep Partnership with the Business Units
This is critical for two reasons. Firstly, strong relationships with business units and understanding their plans and priorities, is required in order to fully understand the companies monetization strategy, which your data strategy must support. Secondly, in order for the data strategy to be successfully implemented, you need to get the business units to buy in to the changes.
Takeaway 3: Tackle Talent from the Very Start
Everyone knows that good data talent is hard to find. This needs to be an absolute priority from day one, as without the right talent, everything else will become an upward battle. Winning the talent war is difficult, but failing to do so makes everything else difficult.
Takeaway 4: Your Data Management and Governance Approach Must Follow and Support the Data Strategy
Don’t be tempted to put the cart before the horse. Only once you have successfully formulated your data strategy, can you gain a sense of what data will be relevant. If you don’t follow this sequence, then you risk trying to boil the ocean, as you lack a focus for your governance framework.
Takeaway 5: Identify your Critical Data, Standardize, Centralize, and Measure
Once your data governance policies are in place, then you can easily identify what data is absolutely critical to everything the company does. This is the data so important to your oganization that, as part of your governance approach, it must be standardized across the enterprise, centralized, and a set of KPIs developed to measure and maintain it. Not all data is vital data, but all vital data is critical.
Takeaway 6: Cognitive Systems have Four Main Elements
Inderpal describes these as ‘The Four E’s of Cognitive Computing’ – simply, cognitive systems need to be Education, Expressive, Expert, and Evolving. If you want to know more about these, then be sure to check out this Infographic on Cognitive Technologies.
Takeaway 7: The Huge Impact that Cognitive can have on your Enterprise
A large corporation like IBM has thousands on experts in different areas. If they all start using a cognitive system which learns from them, then you can create an invaluable form of organizational memory for the company to draw on, which will help decision makers job more accurate and speedy. This expertise in cognitive systems can be built up rapidly through natural interaction with it.
Takeaway 8: Build Yourself a Journey Map or Blueprint
Inside it, include all the activities that go on inside the organization which need to be considered, as well as all the activities that the CDO office need to complete in order to achieve the data strategy, and ultimately support reaching the monetization strategy.
Takeaway 9: Your Blueprint not Just about Technology, Organizational Considerations, or Business Processes – it’s about All Three
The technology elements of your blueprint are of course crucial, and without the right technology your data strategy will be impossible to implement. However, the right technology alone will not lead to success. It must be part of a tri-partite approach. You also need to tackle both organizational issues such as culture change and talent, as well as processes both inside the CDO office, and across the wider enterprise. Over the last several years the CDO role has expanded to include not only running the warehouse, but also looking at many other areas such as new products, or finding new value.
Takeaway 10: Inderpal’s full CDO Blueprint will be Released at the IBM CDO Summit this Fall
Inderpal will be sharing his full, much anticipated, CDO Blueprint for the first time at the IBM CDO Summit at the Boston Park Plaza on October 24th to 25th. The exclusive, complimentary event is open to CDOs, CAOs, and other senior data executives, so be sure to apply for your place to join them today.
At the event, Inderpal will be joined by over 50 expert speakers, and another 100 senior data executive attendees to tackle topics including: