In a world where data is the new oil, organizations are grappling with how to manage and leverage it effectively. At the Rising 2023 conference, Jen Fronzaglia, who leads Data Management & Services at Walmart Global Tech, delivered a compelling keynote on “Building a Culture of Data Excellence.”
The Importance of Data Management
Jen began her talk by emphasizing the critical role of data in today’s organizations. She pointed out that in 2021, people created 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. This staggering amount of data, if not managed well, can lead to inefficiencies and lost opportunities. For instance, data scientists spend about 60 to 80 percent of their time just trying to find and understand data.
The Four Pillars of Data Excellence
According to Jen, achieving data excellence requires a multi-faceted approach. She outlined four core areas:
- Standardization and Definition: Organizations need to have a standardized definition of data through data architecture and enterprise data modeling.
- Core Capabilities: This includes metadata management, master data management, data quality, and data architecture. These core functions enable the appropriate tools and capabilities to manage physical data.
- Awareness and Literacy: It’s crucial to drive data literacy across the organization. This involves educating people outside of tech functions about what data is, how to use it, and how to communicate it.
- Driving Adoption: No matter how good your tools and definitions are, if the organization doesn’t adopt them, progress will be stalled.
The Benefits of Data Excellence
Jen highlighted that a culture of data excellence brings about transparency, understanding, compliance, security, access, optimization, and growth. She gave the example of “Amy,” a fictional marketing specialist. In a data-unmanaged environment, Amy takes four weeks just to plan a campaign. However, with data excellence principles in place, Amy can execute her campaign in just one week, with higher confidence in the data she’s using.
Women in Data
Towards the end of her talk, Jen touched upon the importance of women in data-related fields. She cited statistics that show gender-diverse organizations outperform those with low diversity. At Walmart, women represent over 44% of management roles and over 53% of the total global workforce.
Jen Fronzaglia’s keynote at Rising 2023 was a comprehensive guide to why and how organizations should strive for data excellence. She emphasized that data is not just a technical asset but a strategic one that can drive organizational growth and efficiency. With the right approach, tools, and diversity, companies can build a culture of data excellence that sets them up for future success.