25 Top Information Managers 2012
For the third year in what is now a flagship program at Information Management, our staff, contributors, trusted analysts and past winners lent us their suggestions of leaders to watch in the coming year. The individuals here represent private firms across financial services, insurance, health care, retail, manufacturing, logistics, travel and entertainment, as well as public agencies at the city, state and federal level. There are CIOs, CTOs, enterprise architects and directors of BI and data governance. The list is not a numerical ranking; we hope youll enjoy them all at once as a revealing cross section of our community of information managers everywhere.
First, you need an ability to actively listen. Second, you need to really believe in the art of the possible because part of NASAs life blood is innovation. You look at your fiscal responsibility and balance that with innovation and the ability to accomplish your goal.
To read more about Adrian Gardner, click here.
Theres an old saying that when your ability to change is slower than the environment you are in, you are not long for the world. So I always worry about the balance between the correct level of governance and safety and getting things done at a reasonable speed in a highly regulated environment. Its tricky to find that balance and the cost of mistakes is very high.
To read more about Mike Wilens, click here.
The fear factor was that some really excited passionate people who would come into government and get stuck somewhere where they were not doing anything interesting or carrying the load for a lot of other people and theyd soon be gone. With the mayors help we have been able to help foster and nurture those people.
To read more about Bill Oates, click here.
Weve been successful with different people on different projects because we dont sit down and start talking about regression models and coefficients. We really try to make it relevant and keep it simple. That is whats really helped people embrace what were doing. A lot things that were doing are behind the scenes and quantitatively vigorous, but thats not how were presenting it.
To read more about Anthony Perez, click here.
You do not let things get out of hand with scope or budget creep or undetermined perspectives that lead you to make assumptions. It starts with the CIO, the leader; look at that person and what you see you can emulate. If its not good it will reflect on the CIO before it reflects on you.
To read more about Rick Schooler, click here.
I wont insult our business counterparts by saying it was just one more thing on their plate. They were trying to run a business and absorb change at the same time and its a cultural process to accept that its not over. But that is a very different experience than, today I am doing these many things and tomorrow everything is different.
To read more about Deborah Norton, click here.
When you put discipline and rigor around the data model it truly becomes the holy grail, you dont change it except under some very careful analysis. It becomes the thing around which all functionality can be built.
To read more about Terry Milholland, click here.
As I tell my team, its not enough to be an IT leader, you also have to be a business leader. That means you have to understand our model, how we make money, who our stakeholders are and what their needs and wants are. The approach to technology projects should not be any different than the approach to any project were doing in the company.
To read more about Bruce Hoffmeister, click here.
What you dont capture can be lost and the iPad is a great tool where the interaction between the user and device is very intimate. Now sales reps dont have to come back and remember half of what was discussed on a busy day. That, and arming them with fresh information will make them even better.
To read more about Hillel Zafir, click here.
Being able to take structured and unstructured data and index it for treatments, outcomes and cost is really value based medicine. The only way were going to be able to do that is through a critical mass of data that we really can comb through [with] the analytics to look for these patterns. Big data allows you to experiment and test whether we are able to influence the behaviors of people, which is especially important in preventative medicine.
To read more about James Noga, click here.
Even though the data governance office sits in IT, we have a lot of emphasis on business side ties. Most of our stewards, enterprise, executive and data domain sit on the business side with some IT involvement and of course, we are bringing business and IT subject matter experts into the conversation where we need to.
To read more about Mike Jennings, click here.
Have the humility to know that leading a group is actually a service role to free up the other members of the team so they can perform and contribute. Clear the road so folks can come down and not be impeded by bureaucracy or lack of resources. After that you can look for where leadership or decisions are needed and facilitate those things.
To read more about Sheila Jeffrey, click here.
You have to earn respect in your communication and coordination. A skill that is really challenging and critical is the ability to persuade and educate. Some people are happiest when you just dictate, but its better to get peoples hearts and engagement through reason and passion.
To read more about Mike Smiley, click here.
It allows us to be able to have a structured conversation that is assisted by something that the bank employee or the customer can touch and say 'I kind of like this here, this is my risk tolerance.' That customer is going to be more engaged, more likely to open an account, more likely to take on more products. Were not using it in a 'lets just sell as much as we can to whoever we can' way. Its about making the right fit.
To read more about Todd Schofield, click here.
Every day you run into something new that youd want to add to the list of good leadership. At a high level, culture is very important. Essentially, its the behaviors and actions of the leader that are copied by the people working below them. Its very important, especially at that point where youre leading large groups of people on large projects, to be conscious that your behaviors and the things that you do are going to be reflected by your team.
To read more about Bruce Livesay, click here.
Being someone who works in risk, I think about issues being created by so-called information leaning and the cyber supply chain threats. Risk analysts are going to have to work hard; just think about things like medical supplies and critical energy and the wars being fought.
To read more about Gary Lynch, click here.
At the end of the day, if you cant get executive buy-in, I pretty much tell organizations not to pursue it. Thats the top reason in everything Ive read and seen why BI projects fail. If you can't get your business leaders to understand what BI can do and how it can make their lives easier, you need to reevaluate the project or take a different approach.
To read more about John Lucas, click here.
In terms of data, the future challenges are going to be external. Were good at internal data, but its the external stuff, much of it unstructured, that is our biggest challenge, integrating both worlds to get the whole picture.
To read more about Mark Lack, click here.
Master data is my third career. I started in accounting and finance then moved into supply chain, and I have worked in global functions for both. For me this a progression where using my knowledge of cross business processes put me in a position to step forward and understand detail.
To read more about Bruce Beatty, click here.
I think you make yourself irreplaceable if you work with the idea that you are not holding any key to your own job [and you are] empowering other people to almost be able to do your job. Then you are free to do something higher, and you also make other people grow.
To read more about Fabio Catassi, click here.
Models are based on history and if history changes or if there is a significant reset of everything, sometimes those models dont work. Given that we just went through a great recession, a lot of volatility and dynamic things are coming up right now, in the economy and in general. For our whole industry, the result might be that some of these models arent useful. It goes both ways.
To read more about Frank Fiorille, click here.
The new generation expects social media interaction. You cant tell them not to do it, if you want to be an employer that has people stick around. Turning that into an opportunity is going to be a big challenge. If you can capitalize, your organization will be better off, the people will be better off, youll get a better match for employment and everything will go more smoothly.
To read more about Larry Gregg, click here.
Technologies like federation and virtualization are going to be a big thing, but mobile BI is going to be huge and in everybodys hand. Its already a fundamental paradigm shift in the entire IT industry. I embrace change and this is where its happening.
To read more about Stacey Jones, click here.
Look at how Steve Jobs was successful. He knew the big objective and could drive down to the atomic. Working with a team, its essential to clearly articulate clearly the larger objectives but also the linkages in the smaller context, in the cluster CIOs and connecting to the overall context of what the leadership team is trying to accomplish.
To read more about Alex Pettit, click here.
Simplicity is key to projects. I dont want to get a massive project document. Im not going to look at it. I dont want a project plan that goes out over years. Its going to be hard to support that. I want to work in a very iterative way and talk to people [and] work collaboratively on something. I want to see things from the perspective of my customer, deliberate in design and simple.
To read more about Greg Lewandowski, click here.
Information-Management.com is proud to release our annual 25 Top Information Managers list for 2012
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