How Data Champions Strengthen the Data-Driven Culture Across Organizations?

by March 27, 2020

The data science industry is currently hearing a roar for new buzz word – Data Champions, who are also termed as data steward or data evangelist. Such professionals are gaining gradual and smooth acceleration in their popularity and importance across enterprises. The trends reveal that rising need for flawless data governance and management is the core of upsurge in demand for data champion. But who are these people? What makes data champions different from other data professionals?

Let’s explore.

According to a report, the essential capabilities of data champions include, being highly skilled in IT processes and he must possess a 360-degree view of the business requirements. Organizations functioning globally require the data champions to have a good sense of strategic data needs. To inspire the users to follow the data governance framework in an organization, it is necessary for the data champions to be well respected, have a good rapport with the users, and possess business maturity. The data champions should hail from the CXO level, as domain expertise and a grasp of technology are the key essentials. The data champions should possess analytical skills, backed up with an awareness of the latest data management and data security trends.

A data champion is responsible for evangelizing the data processes in the organization to the business users. The need for a data champion will become acute when an organization is upgrading or buying a new BI system. He should be efficient in communicating the limitations of technology to the business users and promoting data governance and data management in an organization. He must implement a solid data process and guidelines, and ensuring that they are being followed. Forming the strategic vision of an organization as one of the inner circle executives and providing cost optimization of the IT expenditure in information systems while mapping the requirements with the existing systems and conducting gap analysis are some of the major responsibilities of a data champion.


Need for Data Champions

Jane Crofts, the founder of Data To The People and author of Databilities, believes, “The money has already been invested in the systems and tools. Clearly, the focus now should be angled at equipping the workforce with the skills and competencies to read, write and comprehend data in their organizational context.”

To truly build data analytics capabilities, companies need to make sure that awareness is established, data literacy is fostered, and a data-first mindset is achieved.

“Data literacy gives an individual the power to see through the numbers, find the meaning and connect the dots; a data-literate individual has the ability to understand, communicate and create new value from the data they’ve been able to collect or access,” Crofts told Tech Wire Asia.

More importantly, companies need to tap into the collective brainpower of their workforce and reward their curiosity. It’s also key for companies to find hidden talents or ‘data champions’ among their workforce – those who can be key in supporting and encouraging the use of data in daily operations.

These champions can help augment organization-wide efforts in measuring current performance levels and bridging skill gaps before the company can proceed to chart the next steps in scaling up capabilities.