Strategy

How to Educate the CEO About Big Data

Whenever IT has a big project to complete, it often comes with required executive approvals. However, CEOs (and other managers) are more likely to give the green light to projects they understand. Here’s how to bring them up to speed on data projects.

Mary Shacklett writes, “IT and analytics managers understand the importance of selling their management (and the CEO) on projects to get backing. This selling usually takes the form of technology ‘show and tell’ demonstrations, presentations and one-on-one meetings in order to secure the budget to fund the project.

“Once funding is obtained, these same IT leaders consider the selling process over. But should they?

“CEOs are regarded by their boards, their direct reports, stakeholders, and the employees under them as the ultimate voice and authority of the business. Along with this authority comes a natural assumption that the CEO integrally understands all aspects of the business.

“But CEOs have their limits.

“Last year, a poll of Fortune 500 CEOs revealed that the ‘rapid pace of technological change’ was the ‘single biggest challenge’ facing companies yet research released by the American Management Association in February, 2017, reveals that the single largest business background that CEOs come from is sales and marketing (25%), followed by general business management.

“In short, a majority of CEOs do not have a strong technology background, although most recognize the transformational value of technology and analytics in their businesses.”

Read on for 3 tips on educating your executive staff.