CDO Matters Ep. 01 | The Art & Science of Data Storytelling with Scott Taylor

June 27, 2022

Episode Overview:

In the inaugural episode of the CDO Matters Podcast, Profisee Head of Data Strategy and former Gartner analyst Malcolm Hawker speaks to his former colleague, “The Data Whisperer” Scott Taylor, on the art and science of data storytelling — and how to frame the critical importance of trusted data in a way that resonates with business leaders.

In his years of consulting, speaking and writing on all things master data and data management, Scott has developed a unique storytelling approach to make sense of complex ideas in ways that prompt business leaders to action and get funding for enterprise data projects.

Malcolm and Scott discuss why business leaders don’t care about the technical or dogmatic approach to data management and CDOs can hone their storytelling abilities to deliver a pitch with passion, clarity and effectiveness. They push past the buzzwords, trends and stodgy approaches to data management and stress the importance of starting any data initiative pitch with “why.”

And despite the reality that most business leaders will never care about data for its own sake, they close the conversation with a sense of optimism and hope about the future of high-quality, trusted data in the marketplace.

Key Moments

  • 01:30 CDO Matters: A new approach to data storytelling
  • 05:20 Creating a compelling narrative for business leaders
  • 05:52 What to avoid starting with — and leading with ‘why’
  • 08:30 The 3 Vs of Data Storytelling
  • 10:15 Honing data storytelling abilities
  • 13:50 Leading your pitch with Passion
  • 16:03 Should you try changing the data culture?
  • 17:52 Forget the dogmatic approach to data management
  • 21:14 Data is fuel, not the exhaust
  • 12:16 Showing vulnerability as a data leader
  • 22:52 The importance of a consistent data philosophy
  • 23:36 Why businesses don’t care about data quality
  • 24:42 Optimism about the future of data managemen

Key Takeaways:

Creating a Compelling Narrative around Data Initiatives (4:43-5:32)

“There’s this idea you have to create a compelling narrative that the business would understand so they can really support and literally fund the work that was so important in the data management space…” – Scott Taylor

Honing Your Storytelling Abilities (10:21-11:05)

“I think everybody is a born storyteller…they’ve got to be human and to be successful in business…you’ve got to be able to convince someone of the benefits of the offer or articulate some kind of need.” – Scott Taylor

Vulnerability as a Data Leader (12:16-12:54)

“These are lessons for CDOs as well, and one of them is vulnerability…if you are in front of a large group, particularly technology folks, you say, ‘Here are the things that I can’t do’…” – Malcolm Hawker

The Unique Impact of Data Professionals (17:00-17:49)

“There’s not another group [data professionals] in an organization that can bring value to every other part of the company…financing, sales, operations…” – Scott Taylor

Forget the Dogmatic Approach to Data Management (17:52-18:40)

“If I’m being told I need to change the [data] culture…and what don’t you understand about how important data is, if I am managing a supply chain or selling something, that doesn’t really resonate with me…” – Malcolm Hawker

About the Guest

Scott Taylor, also known as The Data Whisperer, has helped countless companies by enlightening business executives to the strategic value of master data and proper data management. He focuses on business alignment and the “strategic WHY” rather than system implementation and the “technical HOW.” At MetaMeta Consulting he works with Enterprise Data Leadership teams and Innovative Tech Brands to tell their data story.

Episode Links & Resources:


How can today’s Chief Data Officers help their organizations become more data-driven? Join former Gartner analyst Malcolm Hawker as he interviews thought leaders on all things data management – ranging from data fabrics to blockchain and more — and learns why they matter to today’s CDOs. If you want to dig deep into the CDO Matters that are top-of-mind for today’s modern data leaders, this show is for you.

Malcolm Hawker
Malcolm Hawker is an experienced thought leader in data management and governance and has consulted on thousands of software implementations in his years as a Gartner analyst, architect at Dun & Bradstreet and more. Now as an evangelist for helping companies become truly data-driven, he’s here to help CDOs understand how data can be a competitive advantage.


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