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IDC offers guide to managing 4 tribes of data analytics professionals

Data analytics professionals are becoming increasingly important for successful digital transformation (DX) and intelligent enterprise initiatives, as more organizations seek to emulate digital-natives or become more digitally resilient. However, managers often overlook data analytics professionals’ wide variety of different skills and backgrounds and how they contribute to successful initiatives in different ways. IDC’s A Chief Data Officer’s Guide to Managing Data Analytics Professionals in Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan) document provides a breakdown on the varieties of data analytics professionals, and explains how this creates both opportunities and challenges for enterprises’ data leaders.

IDC has identified the four main tribes of data analytics professionals as follows:

  • Data engineerswho transform data to facilitate downstream operations and access.
  • Data analysts/scientistswho analyze data and create new models and business insights.
  • Data governorswho are concerned with regulatory, security, and risk issues.
  • Innovation strategistswho look at how data assets and pipelines produce business value.

“Data analytics professionals often value tribal loyalties beyond even their companies, and understanding these loyalties is essential for an enterprise to truly leverage these scarce and critical resources,” says Dr. Christopher Marshall, Associate Vice President for Analytics, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence research at IDC Asia/Pacific.

Different tribes have very different priorities, from compliance to innovation or from operations to analytics. Members of each tribe of data analytics professionals often work together. They also make distinctive and deep financial, intellectual, and emotional investments in particular tools, technologies, and platforms. Tribal investments run deep and will inevitably influence their views about tools and potential alternatives. Most organizations have representatives from each of these tribes, but their distribution and importance vary systematically across countries, industries, and an organization’s digital maturity.

Chief Data Officers must manage all four tribes and should acknowledge the unique differences of data analytics professionals, reconciling and enabling collaboration across tribes – allowing them to communicate with one voice. Furthermore, they should drive cultural changes to expand these tribes beyond existing data analytics professionals into a more inclusive “Generation Data” personnel to allow for enterprise data and analytics resources to be fully mobilized and leveraged.

IDC has produced this guide for CDOs to help them identify the distinct tribes of data analytics professionals within their organization, providing them with advice on how to best manage the four tribes to achieve success in their DX initiatives, and advocate for more Gen-D workers. A detailed breakdown of the various tribes and the demand distribution of data analytics professionals in APEJ can be found in the document A Chief Data Officer’s Guide to Managing Data Analytics Professionals in Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan). To learn more about this document, please contact Dr. Christopher Marshall at [email protected].

Leadership & Organization Resiliency – one of the six distinct organizational dimensions necessary for achieving Digital Resiliency – will be discussed at IDC LIVE Summit an immersive, virtual event experience which will explore how we can work together to create ecosystems that positively affect the lives of others in our communities, while still addressing individual businesses units’ technological requirements. Catch it on June 1-2 at IDC Arena, our very own groundbreaking, intuitive, and data-driven content hub built for maximum engagement. CT Bureau


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