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Kubrick consultant Amera Dam-elhana explores the power of influence and communication to drive true adoption of technology for business impact.

Against the backdrop of stricter consumer data regulations, increased market saturation, and the looming presence of AI, many institutions are undertaking technical changes to remain competitive and revolutionize the technological approach to business processes. My client is one such example of an institution aiming to leverage new technology to utilize data-driven insights for increased personalization in the marketing process. But we are not alone in our forward-thinking; Gartner estimates the typical firm has undertaken five major firmwide changes in the past three years.

While these firmwide changes can look different across each company and industry, large-scale initiatives (and particularly from a technical research and consulting firm like Gartner) place emphasis on how the company’s employees will be affected. Naturally, large-scale business changes may require the employees to gain new skills, pivot their day-to-day activities, or even move entirely to new spaces, and managing those expectations and impacts is key to getting everyone on board.

Currently, I’m actively involved in adopting and employing data management technologies with one of Kubrick’s major Financial Services institutions. At this institution, implementation of a ‘Behavioral Data Platform’ is creating a potential overhaul in the way the marketing campaign data is managed and leveraged. This new system aims to amalgamate and supplement varied data sources with a profile-centric view, to gain a full insight of the individual consumer’s interactions with the firm. Suppose a customer had been browsing through mortgage refinancing options; this creates an opportunity for the company to contact them on this topic. However, particularly for a financial institution, processes like these have become far more rigorous and complex, requiring comprehensive models, legal review, and consideration of consumer choices. This provides a new and exciting challenge for Kubrick consultants navigating this next wave of technological advancement.

Change management, at the initiative level, is a careful and thoughtful process, with thorough impact analysis on key areas of the business from staff to systems. But these pervasive transformations must be implemented at the ground level, as this new platform must be managed, configured, socialized, and populated. This provides the unique opportunity for consultants to manage their own initiatives and drive business value so early in their careers. Business acumen, communication and self-sufficiency have quickly become desired traits, with hard coding emphasized only as a tool for this execution.

Today, I am a salesman, I am a strategist, I am an analyst, I am an arbitrator. More accurately, I am a Business Execution Consultant - but my role encapsulates the tasks and requirements of all the above. Yes, I do code… (Thanks Kubrick) ...And as part of an analytics initiative, this has allowed me to confidently query a data lake of over 150 million customer profiles and ugly schemas to help shape the capabilities of the platform and run experiments for analytical partners. Within the product-focused intersection between technology and business, my current involvement with Consumer Data and Engagement Platforms focuses on socializing the new tool being implemented for audience management. This is crucial in the sense that it will affect the entire marketing process from the tech teams, to the downstream product owners, to the execution teams who will be using this tool.

From a ground-level perspective, change management requires understanding stakeholders’ perspectives and mitigating disruptions to existing processes. In a business that employs over 230,000 people, it is more likely that the ‘spheres of knowledge’ between you and your business partners may not always interact. Creating relationships and navigating siloed information requires a lot of initiative and organization. Stakeholder buy-in is not always guaranteed, but carefully earned through establishing good relations and articulating the value of the platform.

In a piece by the Harvard Business Review titled “AI Won’t Replace Humans — But Humans With AI Will Replace Humans Without AI,” Harvard Business School professor Karim Lakhani who specializes in technology management, innovation, digital transformation, and artificial intelligence, spoke about the future of machine learning in the workplace. Lakhani emphasizes how “the real challenge is not a technological challenge... [it’s] an organizational challenge.” He referred to his colleague Tsedal Neeley, who discusses the digital mindset. “Every executive, every worker,” Lakhani said,” needs to have a digital mindset, which means understanding how these technologies work, but also understanding the deployment of them and then the change processes you need to do in terms of your organization to make use of them.” This idea of the digital mindset feels especially relevant when considering the training to become a Data Management Consultant with Kubrick and applying my skills to drive growth for a major Financial Services institution.

Returning to the Gartner quote, it seems natural that businesses undertaking change will face similar predicaments regardless of industry or department, but a common thread remains: adopting a change management strategy that incorporates constant employee input throughout can dictate the successes of your initiative. Thanks, Kubrick, for not just allowing me to hold my own in the technical skills required of me, like endless SQL and Power BI, but for provisioning the skills required to be able to confidently navigate the business landscape during this time of rapid technological change.
At Kubrick, we help organizations to evolve with next-generation technology with the skills that deliver change and impact. Our unique approach to training talent from a wide range of backgrounds allows us to build a workforce equipped with today’s most sought-after skills at the intersection of data, AI, and cloud. To learn more about how Kubrick can support your team to create impactful solutions, get in touch:

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