(US & Canada) VIDEO | Storytelling Is a Pretty Hard Soft Skill —  Infocepts Partner and “Data Whisperer” Scott Taylor

Infocepts Partner Scott Taylor, also known as the “Data Whisperer,” speaks about the importance of storytelling and communication for bridging the gap between the data organization and the non-data leadership audience.

Infocepts Partner Scott Taylor, also known as the “Data Whisperer,” speaks with Randy Bean, Innovation Fellow for Data Strategy at Wavestone and CDO Magazine Editorial Board Member in a video interview about the importance of storytelling and communication for bridging the gap between the data organization and the non-data leadership audience.

Taylor has authored “Telling Your Data Story - Data Storytelling to Data Management,” his book on understanding the strategic value of data management. Bean is also the author of “Fail Fast, Learn Faster: Lessons in Data-Driven Leadership in an Age of Disruption, Big Data, and AI.” Wavestone is a Paris, France based global consultancy, and Infocepts is a leading data and analytics services firm.

Speaking about the strategic “why” and technical “how” of data management, Taylor says that his primary focus has always been on why using data and analytics is important at an enterprise rather than the technical implementation. He maintains that there has to be a balance between the two.

Sharing his experiences, Taylor says that data leaders often do not explain why data management is important to non-data leadership audiences when looking for stakeholder engagement or funding. Instead, they jump to the technical aspects which keeps the business side from understanding the real value that data people can bring to an organization.

Expanding on the topic, Taylor adds that leadership audiences like CEOs want to know why data and analytics are important. According to him, data leaders need to be able to articulate the rationale for the investment, culture change, and much-needed support.

Following up, Bean shares insights from a survey conducted with the senior leadership of Fortune 1000 companies. Only 39.5 % of participants were managing data as a business asset, 23.9% of them had created a data-driven organization, and a mere 20.6% had established a data culture.

Sharing his opinion on this scenario, Taylor says that the efforts of data leaders are clearly not working. He mentions that the struggle of not being able to break through and get an organization to truly support data and analytics at that foundational and cultural level can be frustrating.

As a solution, he suggests effective storytelling. Taylor explains that getting an organization to change its culture to work with data is a big ask, especially coming from the data analytics group which is usually not well recognized within the organization. Therefore, it is crucial to get people to understand it better which can only happen through telling a better story.

"The gap between data leaders and business leaders is a conceptual gap created by the lack of understanding."

Scott Taylor | Infocepts Partner, also known as the “Data Whisperer"

Further, Taylor adds that the gap between data leaders and business leaders is a conceptual gap created by the lack of understanding. He says that storytelling is likely the hardest non-technical skill in the data space today. While it is always positioned as a soft skill it is pretty hard, he adds.

He concludes that strong leaders need to be able to communicate and listen to others. This can help understand the challenges of the business side and articulate how they can be of help.

CDO Magazine appreciates Scott Taylor for sharing his data insights with our global community.

CDO Magazine
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