The first meeting of the Data & Analytics Club (D&A Club) took place today! What is the D&A Club about? a series of debates where, as we state in our mission, we will share experiences and challenges in a trusted atmosphere with the aim of boosting the benefits that our organizations and society can obtain in the new data economy. In order to create this trust environment we decided this meetings to be closed and only for members by now. We will post a summary of our discussions at a high level for you to follow or comment.
Today’s focus has been on “how to create and manage a high performance data team”.
It’s a shared concern how to identify and acquire new talent and how “traditional” channels fall short in many cases. Here it seems that stronger collaboration with universities (in many forms) and participating in activities such as Datathons can have a quite positive impact.
We have also discussed about many aspects that are actually relevant for any individual or a team in the company. However, we recognize that they may be even more important in data teams since they are kind of new in many organizations as well as extremely coupled with both (or in the middle of) IT and business departments. Additionally, we have talked about how some of these aspects are more challenging in small organizations where multidisciplinarity is key (less time to specialize) and where the balance between the day to day business and longer term projects is trickier.
With respect to organizational aspects, a direct reporting line to CEOs has been emphasized as well as the need of a complete alignment with the IT and legal teams, being able to work together for common business goals. Those goals, moreover, will be easier to achieve when clearly defined and measurable, and everyone considering them as relevant or strategic ones. “Interesting insights” are not enough any longer as project results. In order to conduct successful projects, it is a good idea to invest some relevant effort in ensuring a single source of truth and proper data access beforehand.
With respect to management and benefits, several “best practices” came up. These could help to the performance of the team as well as retaining the talent. A “coach” type of manager may be a good choice to create and settle this team. Many data professionals, and a lot of senior ones, come from collaborative environments, therefore, working to have a strong team spirit is essential, where good job is recognized. Sometimes, internal recognition is not enough and challenging projects and their results, especially the ones where research was required, could be shared outside the organization to obtain the recognition of the data community.
Finally, in this fast evolving field, frequent training is a must and can be obtained in different flavours. Traditional ones are good but “let’s get all together to share our learnings” sessions as well specified “x% of free time” to explore or work on own promoted projects are encouraged.
Data & Analytics Club
By: Marc Torrent