What will define leadership in the Data Age?

What will define leadership in the Data Age?

Data availability and easy accessibility has led to a huge demand in the analyst community. The need for learning new enterprise-grade technologies has become critical.


Data powers innovation and business value in most businesses today. Here is what defines this leadership in the data age.

1. Transcending traditional organizational barriers.

Transcending traditional organizational barriers.

Data is not just confined to technical departments. Successful projects require partnerships between different groups with different goals, mindsets, level of working and the approach of working.

Data leaders need to have a strong understanding of the business, their industry, their data and what these data represent. They must be able to direct teams that encompass data scientists and analysts who can understand the data and frame the problems that need solving. Data leaders should be able to act as translators to bridge the gap between the different parties. 

2. Merging science with business

Data leaders are not IT directors  nor are they expected  to be an expert in the field of advanced data analytics. The data infrastructure and technology are necessary elements, but the core challenge in becoming a data-driven enterprise lies outside this scope.

A data leader is a manager who is capable of merging science with business. Integrating new types of data analytics into a business requires changes in the usual approaches. Existing processes and organizational structures are not often tailored to work with automated data-driven decisions and the responsibility of a data leader is to enable it.

3. Creating a data structure

Creating a data structure

It is crucial that teams have the freedom to think and act creatively when they are analyzing lots of data. Such visuals can be useful on their own, but human analysis provides the real value and contextual insights that lead to new product ideas, services or even business approaches.

When building a data team, it is important to look beyond quantitative skills to include experts. The right resources need to be put in place to support new projects.

4. Vision and purpose

Most businesses today are paralyzed with the amount of data they have access to and are not using it to their advantage. A data leader must take responsibility for defining a use case and deliver real benefits for both – the customer and the business.

A data leader is responsible for constantly evolving a business and offering a response to data showing where any blind spots or opportunities may lay.

5. Realize the revolutionary potential of data

Realize the revolutionary potential of data

Data leaders understand that it is now or never for their organization to be a part of the digital revolution, or they risk being left behind. The revolutionary potential of data is always spoken about, but most organizations can only use it to deliver minor improvements to their existing services.

Data leaders recognize that the ultimate end goal is not the service but the people using it. Therefore they aim at using data to engage and provide an experience that would be impossible to beat or replicate.


The age of information is scaling in full force, and data leaders need to take the front seat. It has always been known that leadership influences people. However, information influence is so much more. Organizations can benefit hugely from big data, but only if their data leaders can implement committed forward-planning practices within clear data strategies.

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