Optimising financial processes

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Questions on Data – Less is More?


Asking great questions is perhaps one of the most underappreciated leadership skills.

People often associate the term “data literacy” with mastering a set of technical skills. However, one critical skill that can scale enhanced decision making across the organisation is simple in concept, but not easy: the ability to ask great questions of a data team.

Business stakeholders, particularly those with strategic responsibilities, can vastly improve the quality of their analytical teams’ output by asking them great questions that are:

  1. Strategically important. If the question doesn’t support key strategies, it’s probably not worth pursuing.
  2. Well-bounded and tightly scoped to gain specific insight. 
  3. Actionable. Only questions whose answers can be acted upon are worth the investment.
  4. Grounded in a firm understanding of the business domain, process or topic. 

The ability to develop this skill is a competitive advantage.

It is more effective to coach leaders in the art of asking great questions than to rely on “translators” – people who are expected to act as a bridge between business stakeholders and data talent. 

You can read the article, published by INSEAD Knowledge, “Are You Asking the Right Questions of Your Data Team” here . . . 

You can also see the recorded discussion on the topic.

The contributors to the discussion and article are Caroline Zimmerman and Professor Theodoros Evgeniou at INSEAD, Daragh Kelly, VP of Data & Analytics at Burberry and Joyce Weng, Managing Director of Bulgari UK.

Thanks for reading . . .