Unveiling the Resiliency Rules with Data First Mindset

Unveiling the Resiliency Rules with Data First Mindset

Helen Yu 04/10/2023
Unveiling the Resiliency Rules with Data First Mindset

In this fast-paced business landscape, the Resiliency Rules serve as the compass guiding us through uncharted waters.

As unexpected disruptions and constant challenges become the norm, companies must adapt to not just survive but thrive. A recent study conducted by analytics leader SAS has cast a spotlight on the state of business resiliency, and the findings are illuminating.

The SAS Resiliency Rules Report delves deep into the world of business resiliency across diverse industries - from financial services to retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and government. The study reached out to 2,414 senior executives from companies with over 100 employees. What makes this study particularly intriguing is the stark contrast it reveals: a staggering 97% of these executives consider resiliency to be either very or somewhat important. Yet, when asked about their own companies, only 47% perceive them as resilient. These findings piqued my curiosity.

I had the privilege of hosting Jay Upchurch, CIO at SAS, to delve into the essence of resiliency and how enterprises can harness the Resiliency Rules framework to strengthen their data-first mindset and embrace uncertainty.

Jay, the recipient of the 2022 Carolina Global CIO of the Year Award and a Stevie Award in the technology sector, has a unique journey at SAS. Starting as an intern in the late '90s and returning four and a half years ago, Jay now holds a dual role as CIO and oversees SAS Cloud's commercial business. His mission? Empower the enterprise by removing barriers to innovation and ensuring customers can easily adopt and operate SAS technology to unlock their curiosity and drive data-driven insights.

SAS, founded in 1976 at NC State University with a focus on statistical analysis for agriculture, has evolved into the world's largest privately held software company, generating $3 billion in annual revenue, and boasting a strong presence in AI analytics.

What resonates with me deeply are SAS's corporate values, which emphasize curiosity, accountability, authenticity, and the ethical use of data. These values set the stage for our enlightening conversation.

Our discussion commenced with the very definition of resiliency. Jay encapsulated it perfectly: “Resiliency isn't an individual effort; it's a collective endeavor. Organizations must embrace a set of Resiliency Rules to foster a resilient mindset. Think of these rules as the foundation of a strong house. They build upon each other to create a resilient culture.”

Here are the key insights from our conversation:

1. Many organizations recognize the resiliency gap between the importance they place on resiliency and their actual resilience levels, highlighting the need to address this gap.

2. We delved into the Five Resiliency Rules Framework and discussed why each is fundamental to build the resiliency.Speed and Agility: Respond swiftly to change.Innovation: Strive to create a better world.

Equity and Responsibility: Apply ethical standards.

Data Culture and Literacy: Make data-driven decisions.

Curiosity: Foster exploration and innovation.

3. Jay mentioned four key elements related to a strong data culture that help companies better adapt to market changes:

  • Data-First Mindset: A strong data culture begins with a data-first mindset. This means that everyone in the organization should prioritize data in their decision-making processes. When faced with a question or challenge, the instinctive response should be to inquire about the data: Where is it? What does it say? This mindset should be pervasive across all departments and lines of business.

  • Data Hygiene: Data hygiene refers to the quality and cleanliness of data. Having good data hygiene involves maintaining well-structured data, clear data dictionaries, and the ability to access data in a timely manner. Ensuring that the data reflects reality accurately is crucial for making informed decisions.

  • Data Governance: Data governance involves establishing controls and safeguards for data access and usage. While a data-first mindset encourages widespread data access, it's also important to have policies and controls in place to protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with regulations.

  • Responsible Use of Data: Responsible data use is a critical aspect of a strong data culture. It involves using data ethically and avoiding bias. Data should be utilized for positive and constructive purposes, and organizations should actively work to prevent unintended biases in data analysis and decision-making.

As organizations recognize the gap between the importance of resilience and their actual readiness, it's clear that we must act collectively to bridge this divide. The Five Resiliency Rules and the four key elements of a strong data culture provide a comprehensive framework for building resilience and adapting to market changes.

My conversation with Jay Upchurch, CIO at SAS, has been enlightening, emphasizing the significance of curiosity, accountability, authenticity, and the ethical use of data in the journey to resilience. 

Let's embrace these Resiliency Rules and empower our organizations to not only survive but also flourish in the face of challenges.

Watch the CXO Spice here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hV-Nc4yzqYs&t=58s

Check out your resiliency quotient via Resiliency Assessment Tool

Together, we'll chart a course towards a future defined by resilience and innovation.

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Helen Yu

Innovation Expert

Helen Yu is a Global Top 20 thought leader in 10 categories, including digital transformation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, cybersecurity, internet of things and marketing. She is a Board Director, Fortune 500 Advisor, WSJ Best Selling & Award Winning Author, Keynote Speaker, Top 50 Women in Tech and IBM Top 10 Global Thought Leader in Digital Transformation. She is also the Founder & CEO of Tigon Advisory, a CXO-as-a-Service growth accelerator, which multiplies growth opportunities from startups to large enterprises. Helen collaborated with prestigious organizations including Intel, VMware, Salesforce, Cisco, Qualcomm, AT&T, IBM, Microsoft and Vodafone. She is also the author of Ascend Your Start-Up.

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