Podcast: Confessions of a Data Man

“The most profitable businesses, and the most successful organisations, will be those able to harness the value hidden in their data.” – Michael Lonnon

Let me start with an apology. I’ve just written a quote by me, in the third person. I promise you, I’m no narcissist. Far from it, as you’ll soon discover. There’s another reason I use it, aside from it being true. It’s because it ties in nicely to the topic of this piece: Confessions of a Data Man.

Confessions of a Data Man is a book about, well, data. Written by me. A marketing professional by trade. Not a data expert by night. So allow me to frame the context of how this new book about data came about.

Twenty years in the game

For twenty years or more, I’ve worked in the technology industry, and in that time, I’ve seen the amount and variety of data explode. As you likely have too. And I’ve seen organisations able to harness the value hidden within data, steal a march on competitors who value data a little less.

There are many reasons the value of data hasn’t been – and still isn’t always – understood, making it a challenge to get data projects off the ground.

  • Data is still seen as an IT ‘problem’
    • Without a business focus and buy-in data cannot add value
  • The value of data is hard to quantify
    • Without evidence, obtaining project budget from the board is a challenge
  • A lack of desire to change the status-quo
    • Siloed departments may be reluctant to give up ownership, and so fail to support

Three of many challenges. But thankfully, more organisations see the true competitive value of better data management. The rise of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) is testament of this. And, increasingly, organisations are counting the cost of poor data management. Disconnected and impersonal buying experiences turn customers off, and data provides the insight from which to guide engagement efforts. COVID has also forced organisations to work and engage in a different way. And harnessing data and extracting the insight within allows organisations to make decisions with greater accuracy because this is the only way to meet new expectations. For example, the pandemic has made delivering citizen services a logistical nightmare. But by using data to create 360-degree view of households and their occupants, authorities have been able to prioritise service delivery.

Data is a core part of life, and is the theme that inspired Confessions of a Data Man.

Ever ridden a taxi down the Champs-Élysées, at rush hour?

My advice, don’t. But if you have, then you’ll know what a hair-raising experience it is. No road markings, traffic lights, roundabouts, or semblance of order. It’s chaos, at best. And it reminded me of how data is managed in many organisations.

Then there’s your kitchen. You know that one drawer within which you hide all manner of objects you believe will have a use at some point, but which don’t fit naturally anywhere else. Batteries, ribbons, drawing pins, candles, twine, receipts, oddly shaped utensils, sound familiar? We all have one of those. But this also reminded me of the way data is collected, stored, and managed.

Confessions of a Data Man provides a new slant – and humorous, if at times tenuous, link – to the world of data, and you will finish it with a greater understanding of the value of data and why companies like HSO strive to help organisations manage it better. Because better data drives better results.

Who this book is for

This book is for anyone who has an interest in the management of data.

It is for anyone tasked with taking control of a business asset that is becoming increasingly important but is still largely misunderstood.

It’s also for anyone new to the world of data who would like some additional insight to take forward on your journey ahead.

It’s for anyone who may be familiar with data and who sees it as an important part of fulfilling their role successfully.

And it’s for anyone longer in the tooth when it comes to championing the importance of data and are already up to your ears in data governance reports.

There is something for everyone. Fresh new ideas as wells as a useful recap of some of the fundamental principles you will no doubt be familiar with.

Confessions is not your ordinary book about data

This book is a confession, of sorts. Along the way I confess to a great many things. But ultimately, it’s a confession that no matter how long you spend learning about data management and trying to improve it, there is always more to learn and almost always a different way of looking at things.

This book is also about the fact that despite what most people tell you, the world of data management can also be really interesting and actually quite inspiring. And it’s for organisation like Microsoft and HSO to help you make the most of it.

For your FREE copy of Confessions of a Data Man visit: www.hso.com/confessions