3 Key Benefits to Hiring a Data & Analytics Leader

March 15, 2023 – A recent survey by EY found that 53 percent of senior executives have identified data and analytics as their top investment priority in the next two years. This trend is not surprising given the vast amounts of data that companies generate daily. From customer behavior and preferences to market trends and competitive insights, data is a valuable business asset that can help companies make better decisions, improve their operations, and drive revenue growth. For organizations to truly monetize their data, however, they need leaders who can effectively analyze and interpret data assets. That’s where an experienced data and analytics leader can provide immense value to a business, says Aaron Maass of JM Search in a new report. “Simply collecting data will not extract profit or deliver strategic use,” said the report. “Companies need a clear framework and guidance to cultivate value. An experienced data and analytics leader can provide both.”

The experience and knowledge of a data-focused leader can simplify the process of aligning your data strategy with business goals and objectives. “Their regular immersion in data enables them to spot beneficial sources of information and metrics that drive the most business value,” said the report. “While your executive team understands industry and market trends, a distinct data expert can help the C-suite identify, organize, and report on data in a way that allows for efficient and effective data-driven decision making.”

“Many organizations have proven they are capable of identifying useful data sources and insights without a data-centric leader,” said JM Search. “But the process takes longer, and often organizations are finding that without a dedicated D&A leader in place, there’s is a lack of ownership to drive a strategic plan and act on important insights.”

An Invaluable Leader

The right technology and tools determine how effectively your company can collect, store, and analyze its data. An experienced data and analytics leader can be instrumental in helping a business assess, implement, integrate, or consolidate data-enabling tech stacks.

“It’s easy to see the signs of struggle in businesses that lack a high-ranking data and analytics champion,” said JM Search. “Forrester predicts 25 percent of D&A projects will be terminated in 2023, in part because of the perception that data and analytics projects fall short of expectations. Senior data and analytics leaders can prevent these shortcomings from happening,” the firm added. “When this perspective is available to the C-Suite, D&A leaders can guide the implementation of systems, platforms, and technology while building a data-driven culture where employees at all levels can make informed decisions.”

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In an increasingly complex and competitive global market, an experienced data and analytics leader can help a business stay ahead of the competition. PwC’s second chief data officer study found that the presence of a chief data officer or similar role appears correlated with strong financial performance, said JM Search. Perhaps this reflects the growing value of data and the tendency of high-performing, data-rich organizations to need data executives.

A Growing Recognition

“In our own experience, hiring a seasoned data and analytics leader can give you a competitive advantage, no matter your industry,” said JM Search. “Data-driven deliberation can build upon your knowledge of trends, customer behavior, and competitors’ movements. As with most innovations, full success comes from hiring the right person.”

The value of hiring a data and analytics leader is clear when you need to anticipate market trends, tailor products and services to customer behavior, and expand margins across the board. “Yet searching for the right talent takes time and a critical eye for what makes an exceptional data-driven executive,” said JM Search.

“Yes, more organizations recognize the need for this role,” the firm said. “Even then, the current market is experiencing turnover and attrition due to mismatched skill-sets, industry background, or culture. If your organization can evaluate and acquire top executive talent as quickly as possible, there’s no limit to your ability to monetize your data, grow your business, and outperform the competition.”

Trusted Advisors

JM Search is an advisor to CEOs, investors, and boards of directors in recruiting, assessing, and delivering high performance leaders and transformational leadership teams. Its clients include private equity firms and portfolio companies, venture capital-backed businesses, and publicly held companies across North America. Founded in 1980, the JM Search recruiting team brings together former operating and financial executives, investors and experienced search professionals with deep industry specialization, functional expertise, and proven access to talent spanning multiple industry sectors.

Mr. Maass is a principal at JM Search and a member of the firm’s technology practice. As a former executive focused on CX, data, and analytics for B2B and B2C technology businesses, he brings a perspective of more than 20 years of operational experience to his searches. Prior to JM Search, Mr. Maass  held consulting and executive leadership positions in data strategy, analytics, e-commerce, and digital transformation for companies ranging from his own PE-acquired start-ups to senior roles at publicly-traded companies, including ADT, Comcast, DuPont, and KPMG.

Related: Nurturing Talent in the Digital Age

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media


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