We spend the day at the recent Chief Data & Analytics Officer, UK (or CDAO UK) conference in central London, to see if what people are saying – matches up to what is going on in the real world.

This was an excellent Conference. It brought together a wide variety of vendors, – all of whom were uniquely adept at their respective slices of competence in what is now such a large and technical area of work, that impacts on each and every one of us in our private and corporate lives.

Simon O’Riordan of the Kubicle company puts it well:

““ Data literacy skills are not only required by the analytics or the IT team; all departments and roles within an organization can benefit from data literacy skills. Data literacy enables employees to ask the right questions, gather the right data and connect the right data points to derive meaningful and actionable business insights. ”

And like so many good events, the show could not have gone on, so to say, without the delegates, the protagonists, the audience – and the synergy that the corporates who attended can bring with their interaction and opinions as they sip coffee in the mingling areas.

For many – the “mingling or networking areas”, were the reason for being there at all. It was the opportunity to get to the heart of what does this all mean, for you and your own level of practicality. There is nothing better than knowing how your peers adapt to the same issues that you have.

Probably best at that level of practical assessment, was Nick Barth, of Microstrategy, who took me aside and got to the point of his earlier Presentation :

“Yes, there is the assumption that, the more nerdy, the better – but that is not usually helpful. What we are talking about is the democratising of data, the governance of data in a way that ordinary people can understand. We at Microstrategy often find that we adapt our pitch, so to say, to suit the role of the recipient”.

It’s an important point – giving a practical view of what could be taken as a theoretical concept. We analyse data because we can, not necessarily because we need to have a commercial or practical reason for so doing.

I particularly liked my discussion with Dario Morelli, Head of Analytics at Truelayer, and the need for big connectivity within the financial sector and its need for a simpler process.

It was a contrast to the NHS Presentation that followed the next morning. This was a wake up call of a public sector approach that differed from the commercial ambience of the conference itself. There was a pause of silence when Ming Tang said that her department employees some 2000 Data Analysts. Bearing in mind that by comparison, the UK NHS itself has some 200 NHS Trusts in the UK, can it really take one Hospital area to require 10 analysts?

If there was a concern, it was that in certain key vertical markets, healthcare being the obvious one – data delivery has already moved on. If we compare the UK to say Scandinavia, data and personal info is via our mobile phone and iPad. PC systems have died away and those standards with them.

These discussion points are worth having. The value of the Chief Data & Analytics Officer, UK or CDAO UK, is in these friendly confrontations. And if we didn’t attend – then we wouldn’t get the value, would we?

Author: umnitso

Managing Editor at ProfoMedia, and Senior Partner at The CRT Partnership, a a leading specialist in brokering international alliances and partnerships; a published author in own right - as well as accredited media for major trade associations, including HIMSS, Vitalis, and others.

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