ADVICE: Overcoming the challenges of data in business transformation

The explosion and ongoing growth of data has pushed it to the top of business priorities for boardrooms and business leaders. From data security, to data processing and management, the influx of data is presenting new and evolving challenges for business leaders every day.

Jamie K Leach, CEO of Open Data Australia, believes it has taken a long time for data to join boardroom discussions, but it’s not too late for business leaders to take control of their data and use it effectively to grow their business.

Setting the foundations

According to Jamie, the true potential for data to transform a business is realised when “the most fundamental data practices and processes are formulated. When these are coupled with the raising of data quality and addressing the skills gap to ensure that data-driven decisions can occur in the daily operations of the business, this combination allows for additional revenue streams through the latest data-techniques.”

She believes the most successful data-driven businesses are those with clear direction and goals for their data strategy.

Get ready for the long game

In Jaime’s experience, a common pitfall business leaders fall for is short-sightedness and assuming that their data challenges can be quickly addressed by assigning its responsibility to one person within the business.

She says, “A lot of business leaders can become overwhelmed when faced with the topic of data. It is often viewed as a highly technical, all-encompassing field, that some businesses believe the appointment of a single executive; usually, a Chief Data Officer will fix all of their issues. What they are failing to realise is that no one person can revolutionise an entire field, this must be at the hands of every person in the business.”

Once everyone is onboard and recognises the unique and individual roles and responsibilities they have regarding data in the business, it is then critical to take a long-term lens and ensure the business is futureproofing itself with the full strength of the entire business.

Jaime explains, “If they are always focused on fixing the present, they are missing the opportunities that data can afford in the future. There are strategies and tools to assist in the strategic transformation and digital maturity of businesses of all sizes and people that can help an organisation in that transformation.”

It’s the journey, not the destination that counts

Jaime believes there is still a lack of large-scale strategic transformations taking place that truly leverage cutting-edge technologies. While data is being discussed in boardrooms and among leadership teams, she urges business leaders to invest in getting their approaches and strategies right from the start.

Jaime says, “There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and very few come up with the right solution immediately. The journey is the critical part, and getting started on that journey is crucial. Stop talking about data, digital and technology, and get serious about implementing global best practice into your organisation, today!”

About the expert

Jaime is incredibly passionate about the transformative potential of data. She strives to raise not only the Quality of data but to enable a higher capability of skills and literacy in all areas of data.

Her corporate background is diverse; ranging from senior business development, general management, banking and wealth management roles, as well as leading development and data/technology companies through capital-raising and global expansion.

In her role as CEO of Open Data Australia, she continues to lead a team dedicated to the critical balance between Advocacy and Education and the delivery of Digital/Data Transformation projects with leading industry across Australia and the Pacific.

Feel free to contact Jamie via LinkedIn for any professional opportunities.