Persuading the leadership to prioritise D&A as a strategic business component is a challenge every CDAO will face throughout their career. We’ve gathered insights from seasoned data practitioners who’ve navigated these waters. Explore the strategies, pitfalls, and success stories that will help you make D&A a core business capability for your organisation.

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Position Data as a Winning Horse

In a competitive landscape, data leaders must stand out. The key is to present data as a winning bet that drives business success. Showcase strong use cases, highlight successful D&A initiatives, and improve data literacy within your organisation. Consistently emphasise why D&A is crucial to address market needs, follow trends, and enhance business performance.

Speak the Language of Business Objectives

To win over executive leaders, bridge the gap between data strategy and business objectives. Clearly articulate how D&A initiatives align with the organisation’s mission and goals. When decision-makers see the direct impact on their bottom line, they’ll be more inclined to prioritise D&A.

Translate Data Initiatives into Tangible Outcomes

Business teams understand the language of results. Shift the focus from just presenting data and statistics to showcasing the concrete business impact of D&A initiatives. Develop a long-term business plan for data, identify data fluency levels in different units, and create a core team of experts to translate business needs into data solutions.

Focus on Transformation, Not Just Projects

Instead of fixating on short-term projects, emphasise long-term transformation for highly segmented organisations. This approach enhances the importance of data governance and the overall benefits of D&A across the organisation.

Amplify Organisational Dynamics

Data is already a part of most large organisations’ dynamics. Leverage and amplify these dynamics to boost data initiatives. Ensure data advocates have a strong voice and prevent their ideas from being overlooked.

Spot Opportunities and Create Value Cases

Identify pain points that D&A can address and build compelling value cases. Promote opportunities for the top management to embrace D&A capabilities, such as adopting real-time dashboards and centralising data functions and governance.

Implement Reverse Mentoring Sessions

To improve data fluency among senior executives, introduce reverse mentoring sessions led by junior-level employees. These sessions focus on topical and impactful D&A themes, raising awareness at the executive level.

Tackling Resistance with Strategic Approaches

Resistance is natural when advocating for D&A initiatives. To address funding concerns, link specific use cases to short-term business unit benefits. Alternatively, align D&A initiatives with medium to long-term enterprise goals and have transactional departments like IT and innovation fund them.

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