Why You Need a Chief Data Officer

Why You Need a Chief Data Officer

Why You Need a Chief Data Officer

Gartner estimates that 90% of large global organizations will have a Chief Data Officer by 2019. If knowledge is power, hiring your company’s first Chief Data Officer (CDO) may be the shortest path to a competitive advantage.  According to a recent article in Harvard Business Review, you hire a Chief Data Officer in order to compete with data.

Chief Data Officers Are Getting More Strategic

Initially, the first generation of CDOs were more tactical than strategic. They were brought in to lead data governance and data management. However, CIO.com reports that the role of Chief Data Officer is transitioning into one focused on how to best organize and use data as a strategic asset. Yet there remains a disconnect. Many CDOs still don’t have the resources, budget, or authority to drive digital transformation on their own. As a result, often the CDO needs to help the CIO drive transformation across the company. In essence, the CDO is fast becoming the CIO’s corporate wingman.

First Chief Data OfficerYour Chief Data Officer Will Need Data Scientists

That first Chief Data Officer will likely need data scientists.   Eventually, your CDO will also need a data lab, and a data factory. A data lab is where you do longer term, innovative, out-of-the-box thinking. A data factory is where you do more process-focused data analytics aimed at more immediate results.

Readying Leaders to Share the Data

Hiring your first Chief Data Officer also involves significant change management.  Your leadership, divisions, departments, and teams will need to be prepared to share their information. The walls of organizational silos must come down. In addition, when the Chief Data Officer serves up actionable intelligence, leadership must be prepared, after all, to act.  That action can bring about seismic shifts as your company morphs into an entity that is more competitive.

Start to Think about the Data

So how does a company begin its journey to hire a Chief Data Officer? Start to think about the data: where it exists and how it might be used.  Ask yourself what entities capture data specific to your business. In my former career as an investigative journalist, I learned that virtually every time a person interacts with the government, a record is created: that’s data. Today, virtually every time we interact with an electronic device, a record is created — every time we turn on our cell phone, send an email, visit a website, or scan in our credit card at the corner store. In addition to the data that your company captures, there are other data that are available for acquisition. Think about all the insights the data might hold. (More on this later.)

According to David Simchi-Levi, professor of engineering systems at MIT and head of the Accenture and MIT Alliance in Business Analytics, big data analytics addresses four kinds of questions:

  1. Descriptive: Tell me what happened.
  2. Diagnostic: Don’t just tell me what happened, tell me why it happened.
  3. Predictive: Tell me what will happen.
  4. Prescriptive: Tell me how I can I make it happen.

But there is one last question that CEOs must ask themselves as they consider the implications of the tsunami of data that is now available.

Tell me what happens if one my top competitors hires a Chief Data Officer first?

Since knowledge is power, the answer is obvious. Your competitor will have gained a significant competitive advantage. That is why a growing number of CEOs are deciding the time for their first Chief Data Officer has come.

What Does Executive Search Cost?

What Does Executive Search Cost?

Executive Search Firm Pricing

Search firm pricing is a top concern of executive search buyers. Whenever employers have an important board or senior-level opening to fill, it is reasonable to ask,”What does executive search cost?”

Of course, there is no easy answer: it all depends on how your company prefers to recruit and how important getting top talent is to your corporate strategy. The wide array executive search firms and recruiting services available means that executive search prices vary wildly.

However, I can give you a sense of what companies typically spend on an executive search by sharing common price ranges of various executive search services.

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Is Your Executive Search Firm Ready for Big Data?

Is Your Executive Search Firm Ready for Big Data?

The executive search industry has witnessed a dramatic shift in how board and senior-level executives are recruited. But what has not changed in how traditional retained search firms recruit. In fact, executive search “best practices” have stayed pretty much the same since they were first developed a half-century ago. And that’s a problem.

The average executive search firm lacks the data expertise to harness the power of Big Data. There is now a treasure trove of data available on candidates. However, in most cases, it is not current, it is not complete, and increasingly it is not structured. Moreover, there is so much information available, recruiters are suffering from information overload. Increasingly, they are missing top talent, not because the candidates are hard to find, but because they cannot see the forest for the trees.

Executive search “best practices” were never designed to deal with Big Data. In other words, the so-called “best practices” are no longer the best.  Moreover, traditional retained search firms haven’t invested in the serious research expertise needed to mitigate the risk and to harness the power of Big Data.

Wrangling all that information takes deep investigative and big data analytics skills — expertise you typically do not find in the world of recruiting. It represents both a threat and an opportunity.

(Of course, our retained search practice is wrapped around our robust research division Intellerati.)

We welcome your thoughts and comments on recent trends you’ve witnessed.

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What Are the Top Executive Search Firms in NYC?

What Are the Top Executive Search Firms in NYC?

Top Executive Search Firms in NYC

We frequently get asked what are the top executive search firms in NYC in the retained search firm industry. It is a common question we get asked by chief executive officers, board members, and venture capitalists. Every year, The Good Search meets with more than 100 buyers of executive search as does our executive search research practice Intellarati. Since we advocate for better executive search and recruiting practices and make our feelings known (on this blog and elsewhere), we frequently get asked for our for our insights on the best retained search firms in the Greater New York City area.

In the interest of objectivity and putting a little good karma out there, below is the listing of executive search firms in NYC that includes our competitors. We understand that we’re not the right search firm for every search every time. No search firm is. That is why it makes sense to develop a short list of search firms for your company. If you happen to be in the Greater New York City area, the list below should help give you a good start. These firms conduct senior executive search in the tristate region of Connecticut,  New Jersey, and New York.  While everyone has their favorites, these executive search firms have solid histories of providing searches in the NYC area.

For more information, check out our post on how to build your own list of top executive search firms.

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What Are The Greatest Myths of Search Firm Selection?

What Are The Greatest Myths of Search Firm Selection?

What Are the Greatest Myths of Search Firm Selection?

Search firm selection is tricky business. Over the years, retained search firms have provided guidance to prospective clients on how to select a search firm. That guidance is a one way they market their services. The search firm selection document recommends using search firms that resemble the search firm offering the guidance. Yet a number of their assertions have been adopted as the gospel truth, when that simply isn’t the case.

Moreover, the track record of traditional retained search firms is underwhelming. 40% of retained searches fail-to-complete. An estimated 40-50% the executives who are recruited don’t make it past their first year. Clearly, something needs to change. A good way to begin is by exposing some of the myths regarding what an employer should look for in selecting an executive search firm. To search smarter, we must begin to challenge old assumptions and to think for ourselves.

Myth #1: You need to specialize in our industry

On the face of it, specialization seems to make sense. Clearly, you want a firm that understands your business and its players. But beware. Industry specialization sets up client blockage. A search firm, particularly the larger firms, will not be able to recruit from all your favorite target companies. The reason? A number of those companies are already clients of the firm.

Of course, the search firm will promise to tell you whenever there is a conflict. But why should you believe them? If they base their fees on a percentage of compensation, they already have demonstrated they are comfortable with conflicts-of-interest. The best way to avoid client blockage is to do business with boutique search firms.

Myth #2:  30% Fee is Acceptable

Retained search firms, on average, charge 30% of annual first year total compensation of the candidate they place plus expenses. While it isn’t technically price-fixing, don’t you find it strange so many retained search firms charge exactly the same percentage? Moreover, percentage fee sets up an inherent conflict-of-interest. It rewards any firm that artificially inflates the salary of the candidate they recruit. That conflict could be avoided entirely with a fixed fee.

Myth #3 – Find a search partner who knows all the best candidates.

If a retained search partner tells you they know “all the best candidates”, that simply is not true.  Great retained search partners work their sources the way a great reporter does. (As a former award-winning investigative reporter, I know a great deal about the care and feeding of sources.) But there is a theoretical limit to the number of people with whom we can have a social relationship. Dunbar’s Number. We humans top out at about 150 people and that includes teachers from schools and family members. Moreover, just because a retained search partner knows an executive does not mean he can recruit that person. Executives do not accept jobs just because a golfing-buddy headhunter told him. Conversely, do not assume that a candidate will refuse to engage just because they’re hearing from a recruiter for the first time. Gifted headhunters have ways of getting their calls returned, regardless. In light of the many ways we can reach out and touch a candidate, what seems to matter most is the ability to uncover all viable candidates. You usually don’t do that work from the 19th hole.

More on the myths in future posts.

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