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Seven Tools for Effective CDO Leadership

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The position of Chief Data Officer (CDO) is relatively new in the federal government, and emerging regulations are providing leadership opportunities for the CDO. A new law, the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, went into effect on January 14, 2019, establishing a set of standards and practices for the United States federal government to modernize its data handling.

Title II of this act is called the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act, which arose out of the 2013 Open Data Policy. The OPEN Government Data Act requires federal agencies to publish a comprehensive inventory of all data assets, made available as machine-readable data in an open format, under open licenses, as well as putting in place a non-politically appointed senior executive (now the CDO) responsible for actively managing data as an asset. “Not just to talk about it, not just try to leverage value for the enterprise, but to treat it like an asset,” said Corlan Budd, Manager of Data, and Analytics, and Technology Strategy with Ernst & Young. He discussed this during his presentation titled The Chief Data Officer as an Effective Leader at the DATAVERSITY® DGVision Conference. He shared seven tools that can help the CDO be a more effective leader, whether in a government agency, or in the private sector.

Key Responsibilities

Budd identified four key
responsibilities of the CDO:

  • Managing data as an asset
  • Transforming how the agency interacts with data
  • Value generation
  • Regulatory Compliance

Previously, government agencies treated data like a by-product of the system without much concern about practices around the data. Now that the CDO is responsible for changing the culture and transforming the way the agency interacts with data, compliance with the Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, as well as a number of other data privacy acts, including HIPAA, is within with the CDO’s purview. The CDO is also responsible for value generation, which is measured differently in the government space than it is in the private sector, he said. Rather than valuing the data and trying to monetize it, “we have to support the mission and improve public service,” he said.

Culture and the CDO
Challenge

Budd quoted Peter Drucker: “Culture will eat strategy for breakfast.” Building an effective strategy is a waste of time if the culture puts up roadblocks to its success. The key to ensuring strategy is embraced rather than ‘eaten for breakfast,’ Budd said, is leadership, yet, “The culture and the organizational dynamics don’t necessarily line up for success immediately.” Cultural factors are dependent on context, and the organizational structure where the CDO resides, whether that is in finance, or risk, or another part of the organization. Support from the CIO and the dynamics of power above the CDO have an effect on autonomy. Culture issues below the CDO often stem from staff buy-in and stakeholder support.

Funding and Proving
Value

The CDO must show the value of the data itself as well as the value of improving the organization’s relationship with data, while managing expectations about how and when this will happen.  Contracts that are project-based, or with more sophisticated capabilities tend to have an easier time getting funding than program-based proposals that could enhance customer value and provide better service company-wide. With some business units, he said, essentially the only value that they get is the ability to operate their program.

Innovation and transformation provide peak value when C-level
execs are able to make data-driven decisions, optimize performance, and reduce
costs. What often stands in the way of that is culture. The key is to change
from a program or business unit focus to an enterprise-wide approach. “Get
folks in a room and get them talking,” creating an environment that facilitates
conversation among data enthusiasts where they can discuss data issues and leverage
data sharing initiatives. This can provide a lot of value and open up
possibilities for positive cultural change, he said.

Assessing Culture: Hofstede’s
6 Dimensions of Culture

Budd suggests using three elements of social psychologist Geert Hofstede’s Six Dimensions of Culture as a guide to qualitatively assess the organizational culture: Individualism vs. collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term vs. short-term orientation.

  • Individualism vs. Collectivism: An
    individualistic culture values individual performance and recognition over
    playing a role as part of larger extended team or group. Loyalties in an
    individualistic culture are focused on the individual. Collectivist culture
    loyalties are focused on groups or departments. When building a team
    environment, everyone has to understand that in some circumstances they will be
    recognized for individual accomplishment, but in relationship to data, each
    person has a role as part of a team. “That helps the overall success of not
    just the chief data officer, but how effectively we can utilize our data and
    how much value we can get from our data for the entire organization, not just
    in that C-suite area.”
  • Short Term vs. Long Term Orientation: Budd
    was surprised at how prevalent short-term orientation was throughout his
    organization, with an almost complete lack of interest in any long-term
    orientation for strategy. The value of a strategy happens over the course of
    time, so he suggests finding some of the low-hanging fruit without sacrificing
    longer-term goals. When focusing on moving the needle from short-term
    orientation toward the long-term orientation side, “The only way I was able to
    do that was to satisfy some of the short-term need, at least for the moment,”
    which gave him enough momentum to focus in on some of the longer-term strategy
    issues.
  • Low vs. High Uncertainty Tolerance: Uncertainty avoidance can be a stumbling block or a wise choice depending on the situation. Concern about investments in new technology is a good idea if the tool is unproven. Stakeholders may have difficulty buying in if there’s a high level of uncertainty about the vision or the likelihood of success, especially if they previously saw a Chief Data Officer who tried something similar and didn’t succeed the first time. With uncertainty avoidance, he considered his efforts a success if there was any move across the halfway point toward risk.

When you come across a situation where you’re on one extreme of the continuum, figure out how you can move that needle culture-wise back to an acceptable area for your strategy to succeed,” he said.

Effective Leadership: Adapt and Connect

Budd found two leadership principles from John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership particularly useful for developing skills needed to adapt to the existing environment and connect with the people in it.

  • The Law of the Lid: Leadership ability
    determines a person’s level of effectiveness. Implementing required changes
    without buy-in has a negative effect on culture, he said. “There are a lot of
    things that you just can’t do unless you have consensus.” Understand the importance
    of developing multiple leadership styles based on the existing culture, such as
    using a transformative leadership style in some circumstances, and democratic
    leadership in other circumstances. “When you need to develop consensus, you
    might have to switch your leadership style to one that’s a little bit more
    democratic,”
  • The Law of Connection: Leaders touch a
    heart before they ask for a hand. A leader needs to develop a personal
    connectionbefore successfully affecting culture or leading individuals
    in the organization, said Budd. “Followers don’t necessarily follow a
    particular thing, but they will follow your vision, and if they connect with
    your vision, then they will follow you.”

Effective Leadership: Influence
and Motivate

Three more of Maxwell’s laws, as well as Jim Collins’ Turning the Flywheel provide guidance for learning how to influence and motivate others:

  • The Law of Explosive Growth: To add
    growth, lead followers. To multiply, lead leaders. The CDO is in a position to
    essentially lead the entire agency, because everyone is a consumer of data, he
    said. Identify a group of data consumers and empower them – enable them to the
    point where they can become leaders. “Now that you’re leading leaders, your
    impact for culture change has essentially multiplied.”
  • The Law of Influence: The true measure of
    leadership is your influence – nothing more, nothing less. Leadership skills
    build on one another and contribute to a leader’s level of influence.  “If we want to be effective, and the
    measurement of our effectiveness is our influence, then that’s what we need to
    make sure we’re honing in on.”
  • The
    Law of the Big Mo:
    Momentum is the leader’s best friend. It’s the little
    things that lead to the big things
  • The Flywheel Concept: Establish momentum
    early on in the process by getting some wins and providing short-term value.
    This is similar to riding a bike or turning a flywheel. “The first couple of
    strides are always really, really difficult, but once you get that momentum
    going when you’re riding the bike, then the machine does a lot of the work for
    you.”

Effective Leadership: Sustainability

According to Jim Collins’ Good to Great, effectively leading an organization into greatness entails sustaining a certain level of performance and growth over time. “A leader’s lasting value is measured by how things continue after they’re gone,” said Budd, yet often when a leader leaves, their initiatives fall by the wayside. An effective leader uses Maxwell’s Law of Explosive Growthto build sustainability. “‘It takes a leader to raise a leader,’ so the essential strategy for sustainability is to develop leaders who will support your data initiatives into the future.”

Effective Leadership: First
Things First

To manage short-term value expectations, Budd recommends Steven
Covey’s concept of ‘first things first.’ With effective prioritizing, a leader
is able to focus on values, plan ahead, and have opportunities for networking,
relationship-building, and impacting the culture.

Budd uses the Eisenhower Decision Matrix as tool for effectively determining which tasks are important but not urgent, and how to move from reactive to proactive, “Instead of trying to get through the day putting out fires.”

As new activities are added to his plate, Budd uses the chart to
ask himself where they fit in the matrix and whether they line up with his priorities
and strategy. This process, he said, “provides some pretty good immediate
value.” Socializing the Eisenhower matrix can create buy-in and ownership among
team members. When all members participate in thinking through where time
should be spent and work together to ensure that quadrant one
(Important/Urgent) and quadrant two (Important/Not Urgent) are balanced,
priorities are shared and value becomes apparent. “The key also is making sure
that when you do that, you track the value and you measure it, and you
celebrate your win whenever you get one.”

Know Your Leadership
Level

John Maxwell’s 5 Levels of Leadershipdefines a cumulative set of qualities for growth as a leader, and Budd suggests focusing on developing leaders in levels three and four. The level three leader has permission from followers and the authority to lead a high-performance team. As they move up to level four or level five, they can multiply their growth, building a sustainable data program and providing value to the organization that will outlast their tenure. Identify one or two leaders for each program, enable them, build them and let them lead, he said. “I don’t have to go and sell my strategy or my implementation to everyone, I’ve got a group of leaders that can help do that.” At level five a leader becomes able to develop leaders that can, in turn, develop leaders. “And now you’ve essentially multiplied your ability to grow.”

Want to learn more about DATAVERSITY’s upcoming events? Check out our current lineup of online and face-to-face conferences here.

Here is the video of the DGVision Presentation:

Image used under license from Shutterstock.com

Source: https://www.dataversity.net/seven-tools-for-effective-cdo-leadership/

Big Data

Certifications To Drive Your Big Data Professional Career

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In the modern age, one of the most valuable assets a business possesses is the data it generates. Business data is an unparalleled source to derive a competitive advantage over other businesses operating within your niche or industry segment. It is so valuable, that businesses spend billions each year on data security and privacy measures, both to protect their customers as well as the valuable data itself.
However, raw data in itself does not offer much value. Given the large volumes of data that businesses produce on a daily basis, simply managing it can be a huge task, let alone analyzing it to draw the correct conclusions. This is where big data professionals come in.

 

How to Become a Certified Big Data Professional?

The larger a business is, the more data it likely generates. For enterprise-level businesses, this data can become so extensive that simple inference tools aren’t enough to draw valuable information from it. The vast quantities of data are full of hidden trends, process efficiency indicators, sales volume fluctuation, and even customer behavior. However, for an average-Joe, it may be virtually impossible to use it in a significant way. After all, it’s not as simple as figuring out how to get Spectrum TV.

But a certified big data professional has all the expertise and knowledge needed to make constructive use of the data that businesses accumulate. This is one of the reasons why data scientists are in such demand in the business world. Using sophisticated statistical and analytical techniques, big data professionals are able to correctly predict trends and identify areas of improvement. This helps businesses improve their overall process efficiency and position themselves to take advantage of emerging trends. If you’re thinking of dipping into the big data profession, here are a few certifications that will prove useful along the way:

1. Microsoft MCSE Data Management and Analytics.

2. Cloudera Data Professional Certification

3. Hortonworks Hadoop

4. EMC Data Science and Big Data Analytics

Here’s how these certifications can help you get closer to your goal of becoming a successful big data professional.

 

Microsoft MCSE Data Management and Analytics

Microsoft is one of the oldest and most iconic tech companies in modern history. So it makes sense that they have developed specialized tools and certifications to help professionals who work with big data in a business setting. The company’s MCSE program is designed to help individuals become proficient at using various Microsoft tools and software. Successfully completing the program means you become a certified big data professional in terms of:

  • SQL database administration.
  • Development
  • Machine learning.
  • Business intelligence reporting.

The program hones your skills so you can have demonstrable expertise in SQL, building data solutions for large-scale enterprises, and deriving intelligence from business data. Any tech-savvy employer will jump at the chance to add you to their team.

 

Cloudera Data Professional Certification

If you want to learn how to create and work on big data pipelines, the Cloudera certification is something you should seriously consider. The company has established itself as an authority on Hadoop, and getting certified by it is one of the most useful endorsements you can have in the big data profession. It lists a range of certifications that offer proficiency in Apache Spark, Hadoop Development, and Hadoop Administration.

Hortonworks Hadoop

Speaking of authorities in the Hadoop domain, Hortonworks is a commercial vendor that has been offering customized Hadoop tools and solutions to enterprises for some time now. These services have a broad range of applications in data management and intelligence. The company now also offers various certifications for Hadoop, including Hadoop development and administration as well as Spark development among others. The certification is great for building your skillset in:

  • Data ingestion.
  • Data transformation.
  • Analyzing big data.

 

EMC Data Science and Big Data Analytics

EMC offers certifications designed to build and increase proficiency in various specific aspects of the Hadoop environment. It covers a variety of bases, including Pig, Hive, and HBase. It also pays a lot of attention to delivering knowledge on data visualization, NLP, and even logistic regression. In addition, the certification will grant you proficiency in data analytics, data science roles, building complex data models, and evaluating it for results.

Big data professionals are needed by virtually every enterprise-level firm in the world. They are needed to analyze complex information, from measuring customer satisfaction ratios on the Spectrum cable phone number to identifying process inefficiencies in manufacturing. With an increased dependency on data to outperform and outclass the competition, businesses are willing to pay handsomely for this niche skillset. A professional certification can greatly increase your chances of getting lucrative employment in the field.

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Teen banking app Step reaches for the stars to raise $50 million

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By Anna Irrera

LONDON (Reuters) – Teen banking app Step has raised $50 million (37.4 million pounds) from investors led by Coatue Management alongside celebrities such as singer Justin Timberlake, influencer Charli D’Amelio and former quarterback Eli Manning.

Step, which offers teenagers a bank account connected to a secured spending card and peer-to-peer payments, also said it had secured funding from existing backers including Stripe, Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, CrossLink Capital and Collaborative Fund.

San Francisco-based Step allows parents to view balances and real-time activity, add money to their teens’ accounts and manage and freeze cards. It does not charge fees but makes money from card interchange.

Other stars involved in the fundraising included The Chainsmokers, Kelvin Beachum, Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Iguodala, Step said in a statement on Wednesday.

The startup, which has attracted more than 500,000 users since launching two months ago, will use the funding to grow the team and invest in its technology, its chief executive CJ MacDonald told Reuters in a video call.

“We are making sure we are building scalable solutions and are able to handle the growth,” MacDonald said.

Step is one of several new banking apps focused on children and teens in the U.S., as companies seek to capitalise on a global surge in digital payments and ecommerce. It rivals products from companies including Greenlight, Copper and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Such companies say they aim to make it easier for parents and their children to transact in an increasingly cashless economy, while providing more modern financial education tools.

“As a person who hasn’t always had financial stability, and made many mistakes in that arena as a young man, I know the importance of financial education and having access to economic platforms that can work for everyone,” Smith, who is a co-founder of Dreamers VC, said in a statement.

(Reporting by Anna Irrera; Editing by Alexander Smith)

Image Credit: Reuters

Source: https://datafloq.com/read/teen-banking-app-step-reaches-stars-raise-50-million/10977

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Intel’s Habana starts to chip away at Nvidia in cloud with AWS deal

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By Steven Scheer

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Intel Corp’s Habana Labs business said on Wednesday it would take time to gain market share from Nvidia in cloud and data centre computing but its deal this week with Amazon Web Services (AWS) was a solid first step.

Intel in December bought Israel-based artificial intelligence firm Habana for about $2 billion, seeking to expand its AI portfolio to bolster its data-centre business.

Habana’s Gaudi AI training processor, launched in June 2019, has faster processing speeds to compete with similar products from Intel rival Nvidia.

“We have to realise that we’re starting from zero and Nvidia is 100%,” said Eitan Medina, Habana’s chief business officer, who said that having AWS as its first customer was very important.

“The uphill battle or the process of taking market share has to go through convincing end developers to try it out,” he told reporters. “We are making the dent at the most important place. We’re starting with a very big guy that has the longest experience … It will take time but I believe we’re on the right path.”

Medina declined to comment on whether Habana was negotiating other deals.

Habana on Tuesday said its Gaudi processors will power AWS’s Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud “instances” for machine learning workloads, in Habana’s first deal for its Gaudi chips.

Amazon is seeing growing demand for its cloud tools during the coronavirus pandemic. These chips, Intel said, would give 40% better price performance than current graphics processing.

Medina said that the advantages of Gaudi AI chips were efficiency and allowing for lower capital and operating expenses that in turn could give AWS and others the ability to lower prices for customers for server time.

“We are now starting so it will depend on the combination of how we will execute and how important is it for users to lower their cost and to have alternatives to GPUs (graphics processing units),” Medina said. “Our total available market is 100% of AI.”

(Reporting by Steven Scheer. Editing by Jane Merriman)

Image Credit: Reuters

Source: https://datafloq.com/read/intels-habana-starts-chip-away-nvidia-cloud-aws-deal/10976

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U.S judge hearing Google case rejects government’s protective order request

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The federal judge hearing the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet’s Google urged the government on Wednesday to narrow the definition of “highly sensitive” information as he considered arguments on which of Google’s lawyers would be able to see evidence produced by other companies.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta asked the two sides to produce a revised protective order by Dec. 14 while companies, like Apple Inc or AT&T Inc, which produced the information, would have until Dec. 15 to file on the matter.

The Justice Department, which sued the search and advertising giant in October, put at the core of its antitrust case the billions of dollars that Google paid to be the default search engine on Apple’s iPhones. Apple noted in its filing that sensitive data was used to write the complaint.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Image Credit: Reuters

Source: https://datafloq.com/read/us-judge-hearing-google-case-rejects-governments-protective-order-request/10975

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