Gartner Says Data & Analytics Leaders Must Use Collective Intelligence to Drive Business Value


LONDON, May 14, 2024 — Data & analytics (D&A) leaders should focus on collective intelligence to drive business value and D&A maturity, according to Gartner. Collective intelligence, driven by generative AI (GenAI), combines the problem-solving skills of humans and machines to create value.

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During the opening keynote at the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit taking place this week in London, Adam M. Ronthal, VP Analyst at Gartner, and Alys Woodward, Sr Director Analyst at Gartner, said that D&A leaders have a central role to play by providing the capabilities that facilitate decision and action, effectively unleashing collective intelligence.

Focus on D&A Fundamentals

Gartner research shows that D&A leaders are currently spending more of their time on changing culture, creating strategy, embedding D&A initiatives in the business & managing governance.

“Many D&A leaders get bogged down on strategy and culture issues,” said Ronthal. “Those leaders who prioritize governance focused activities, such as managing the function, delivering projects and increasing governance maturity, tend to have better financial performance, therefore unlocking D&A’s value.”

AI Ambition

Determining AI ambition starts with the organization’s business strategy or public mandate. This provides the intentional, strategic planning for where AI will be best utilized.

D&A leaders can help their CEOs and peers in leadership define their organizations’ AI ambition by examining the opportunities and risks of using GenAI in four areas: the back office, the front office, new products and services, and new core capabilities.

A fourth quarter 2023 Gartner survey of 644 global respondents found that GenAI is the most frequently deployed AI solution in organizations. However, 53% of 615 CIOs and technology leaders surveyed in the second quarter of 2023 said they were not sure that their organizations would be able to mitigate the risks of AI. This is where AI governance must come in to narrow that gap.

The Gartner survey of 479 chief data and analytics officers (CDAOs) in the fourth quarter of 2023 showed a strong correlation between overall D&A governance maturity and innovation. Organizations with mature D&A governance practices are 25% more likely to adopt data driven innovations, like AI.

The most impactful governance practices include:

  • Providing business rules for data-driven decision making
  • Key performance indicators for business outcomes
  • Adaptive governance for different use cases

“By establishing the connection between AI-ready data, governance and business value, D&A leaders can immunize their organizations against potential AI risks,” said Woodward.

Leading to Collective Intelligence

Gartner analysts recommend D&A leaders take three actions for leading people to create value together:

  • Reorganize operating models to facilitate autonomy & flexibility: “Rapid evolution of D&A and AI technologies, such as GenAI, offers leaders the opportunity to rethink and evolve their operating models,” said Ronthal. In fact, the CDAO survey found that 75% of respondents were already evolving their operating models to enable them to better support innovation.
  • Extend data literacy to master AI literacy: The Gartner CDAO survey found D&A leaders said AI education and data literacy will be getting more attention from their organizations in 2024. “Organizations should build on the momentum of data literacy to create masters of AI literacy,” said Ronthal. “Extending data literacy to AI literacy doesn’t have to involve a massive program overhaul. It can be positioned as an extension of existing concepts, programs and frameworks.
  • Distribute authority and responsibility for everyone to lead with purpose – from the core to the edge: Distributed leadership suggests that the relevant data is discovered at the edges and must be done along with the full team, informed by a shared vision and purpose. “In the new era of collective intelligence success will be where organizational purpose meets D&A, literacy and autonomy,” said Woodward.

Gartner Data & Analytics Summit

Gartner analysts are providing additional analysis on data and analytics trends at the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, taking place this week in London. Additional dates and locations include: May 21-23 in Tokyo, and July 29-30 in Sydney.

About Gartner

Gartner delivers actionable, objective insight that drives smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s mission-critical priorities.

Source: Gartner


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