(US & Canada) | The Trend of CDOs Becoming More Strategic Will Accelerate — Burtch Works CEO

Michael Butts, CEO of Burtch Works, speaks with Robert Lutton, VP, of Sales and Marketing at Sandhill Consultants, in an engaging video interview about ensuring talent pool diversity while hiring, how companies adapt to the work flexibility quotient, emerging job trends, and how the increased use of AI, ML, and GenAI influences hiring trends.

Burtch Works is a specialized staffing and recruiting agency for data, analytics, and technology professionals.

To ensure diverse talent pools in data science and AI recruitment, Butts recommends having an internal advocacy program or partnering with an advocacy group. He mentions Women in Data Science (WiDS) and reiterates that its website contains upskilling and career navigation programs.

In addition, Butts mentions Uplink as a way to acquire additional resources for employees to build their careers and upscale. He adds that it also enables companies to hire diverse talent from the platform.

Next, Butts discusses making the process measurable by prioritizing the interview funnel and how the candidates are being presented and selected. This drives the diversity in participation, he adds.

Lastly, Butts stresses compensation equality and states that the Burtch Works salary report breaks down compensation medians based on skill set categories. He affirms that knowledge is power, and having the data to understand current market dynamics to set goals helps move the needle.

When asked how companies are adapting to the flexibility quotient while hiring, Butts remarks that it is basically decided by the industry and varies accordingly. For instance, he says, the larger financial services call in employees five days a week.

Whereas, certain other industries that can afford to be more flexible are either following the hybrid model or are a hundred percent remote. Also, he notes that executive leaders have on-site requirements, especially for people management roles.

When it comes to full-time versus part-time versus contract-based, it depends on the size of the size of the industry, says Butts. The contract labor is open to fully remote positions, but full-time employees come with a hybrid requirement. Interestingly, Burtch Works acquires contract labor for customers who could convert into a hybrid or on-site model, and on conversion, they can still adhere to the company policy.

From an industry vertical perspective, the demand for contract labor is based on the vitality of the industry.

Speaking of emerging job trends, Butts affirms that there is a massive demand for data engineering. Expanding on the cause, he says that evidently, data scientists do not get the right organizational infrastructure or ETL pipeline to execute against the desired outcomes.

Ensuring organizational infrastructure and data pipeline drives the demand because organizations are making a big push to have a robust extract, transformation, and load (ETL) process for the data.

In addition, Butts mentions a buzz around GenAI, which he refers to as a secular trend. While questions still persist on how to use it best, organizations have started looking at businesses differently and are figuring out ways to enhance processes with the new technology.

In consequence, Butts notes that data professionals in leadership positions are becoming more strategic in nature. He asserts that the CDO and CDAO roles are transitioning into more of a Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) role. Butts maintains that data leaders are prioritizing the strategic element, and the trend will accelerate.

Moving forward, he comments on how the increased use of AI and ML is influencing hiring trends across industries. Butts asserts that there is a quaint share of highly skilled generative AI or LLM resources in the market.

Also, there is upskilling happening across the board, where data scientists and AI professionals are striving to gain exposure to or training on GenAI technologies. However, Butts confirms that the actual skilled group is still finite, given the duration of the technology’s existence.

Concluding, he stresses that it boils down to how the upskilling is being applied to the business process. Since a data scientist needs a strong ETL process, a solid business process will enable a professional to come and leverage GenAI effectively.

​CDO Magazine appreciates Michael Butts for sharing his insights with our global community.

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CEO of Burtch Works, Michael Butts 

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