Organization are slow to change but technology changes quickly. If you leave the organization as is many won’t catch up with the change, and the technology maturity gap will widen between them over time. I saw this described in breakout panel at Strata Data in New York a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the speaker left it there.  What? No hope.  As I thought more about the way organizations struggled with technology, my economics training kicked in.

Yes, there is hope.  Data leaders might not be able to control the rate of change of technology but they can have an impact on their organizations.  Data leaders must change how their organizations – and their employees –  understand and consume new data and analytics technologies.  A comprehensive change management campaign can help bridge the org-tech gap – creating what economists call an exogenous shift.

If we were to illustrate this on the graph in Figure 1 to the right with time on the horizontal axis and value along the vertical access, technology change is represented by the red line and the initial organizational change by the dark green line, with the maturity gap gaping between them. In Figure 2, we see that the results of efforts to drive change into the organization represent a wholesale shift in the curve up the value axis to a point where it will actually intersect technology.  This may seem too abstract but it helps me understand the dynamics of change and the efforts required to create an insights-driven organizational culture.

In our research on how insights services providers work with their clients change management and trust enablement figure prominently. Decision-makers at all levels must trust in the insights provided to implement the actions they prescribe. Only by implementing those actions can they achieve their desired outcomes.

There are two axes of trust in data and analytics – and the insights derived from them. One lies in the production of the insights; the other in the consumption of those insights. Vendors and service providers can prepare data, produce algorithms, and deliver insights that are trust-worthy.  Yet companies and their decision-makers will only consume those insights if they trust them. Trust is not something that you can produce; you have to cultivate it.  And, that’s one of the primary goals of data leaders today. They must instill in their organizations’ leaders and employees an understanding and trust in data and analytic methods –and in the insights derived.

Our upcoming report outlines how Chief Data Officers and other data leaders can instill that trust – and shift that organizational change curve up so that it intersects with the technology change curve.  Stay tuned.