How to hone your big data skills as a leader


As a business leader, it is important to keep yourself rooted in what is current; this may refer to prevailing business models, consumer engagement trends, or breakthroughs in technology. With regards to the latter, the majority of today’s leaders are all but required to possess considerable knowledge of relevant technological movements — perhaps the biggest one being a growing emphasis on big data analytics. Nearly all modern work environments track and leverage data in some way, and your leadership’s efficiency will hinge on your ability to navigate and understand this ever-changing concept.

That said, here are a few quick tips for honing your data skills as a leader.


Refining your approach

Data analytics can be intimidating at first glance — especially to those rooted in traditional corporate functionality; however, it can be simplified if broken down into a strategic imperative. Your leadership experience has likely instilled a knack for strategic thinking, and this mentality is more than applicable to any analytics-related scenario.

Think of big data as a scientific inquiry — you must start out with a basic “question or problem in mind.” You may be focused on how to improve an advertisement campaign by tracking consumer data, or perhaps you are interested in using data to monitor the efficiency of employee training. Whatever the reason, it is important to keep your initial approach within your comfort zone. Bridge your initiative to planning techniques you already know, and be sure to keep your expectations in check. After all, it is never guaranteed that acquired data will lead to the exact answers you are hoping to obtain.


Push yourself to learn, not just think

This tip boils down to a simple, yet highly relevant virtue of business leadership: never take the easy way out of anything. Cutting corners is almost always a gamble that can jeopardize the flow of your work environment, and this is especially true of big data implementation. You must know the various ins and outs of corporate analytics — to the point where you can stoically oversee data-based changes in workplace culture. The most successful data-oriented companies are quick learners, but they are also efficient learners. If you are simply at a loss for certain aspects of big data, assemble of team of individuals who can help cover this ground. A major benefit of data’s growing prevalence is that there is a wealth of up-and-coming knowledge directed towards it. No matter the deficiency, there is usually a way to strengthen it.


Trust in your abilities

A corporate leadership position usually reflects mastery in a specific skill area — the noticeable potential to pass relevant knowledge on to others and lead them to success. If you hold such a role, you are likely already well-versed in the skills needed to succeed at your business. When approaching data analytics, it is key to remain confident in these abilities. Data leaders must be experts of their craft; they have to understand the both the business sector at large and the definition of value as it pertains to their specific concentration. Remind yourself that you are more than capable of pushing your comfort zone — and that doing so will set an example of ambition and innovation to your reports.