BUS607 Study Guide

Unit 3: The Role of Leadership

3a. Explain why leadership is considered the leading critical success factor in becoming a data-driven decision-making organization

  • What are the two forces that are defining the next generation of leaders?
  • What are 3 or more things the leader of the 21st century will need to be for success?

The world of business is ever-changing, which brings new challenges for leaders. To continue to be effective, they will have to learn and embrace new leadership models based on globalization, decentralization, and diversity needs.

Effective leaders in the 21st century will have to be many things, including:

  • Strategic opportunists, to find strategic opportunities before competitors
  • Globally aware, to face the significant foreign competition
  • Managing a decentralized organization, to meet the environmental demands for organizational speed, flexibility, learning, and leanness increase
  • Sensitivity to diversity, as the shift to a more diverse workforce continues
  • Interpersonal competence, for awareness and sensitivity to the multicultural expectations of a diverse workforce
  • Organizational community builders, to help members develop a sense of ownership of the organization and its mission

To review, see Leadership Needs in the 21st Century.

3b. Contrast the role of leadership with other success factors, such as a well-defined business challenge, the right personnel, or integrating data findings into the organization

  • What are the four cultural requirements leaders must embrace to become a big-data-enabled organization?
  • What are the four distinct leadership roles that are taking on the challenges of navigating big data and analytics for organizations?

Leadership is a critical success factor in many disciplines, including project management, six sigma, and data analytics. Leaders across a variety of industries realize the benefits of data analytics in their organization's decision-making support. Many realize that the greatest challenge is not the technology or even the personnel, but a lack of leadership.

Becoming a big-data-enabled organization requires a culture of empowerment, trust, transparency, and inquiry. These qualities enable analytics to become pervasive throughout the organization. In most transformations, leadership outranks any technical or personnel challenges the organization may face.

Leadership is the biggest indicator of analytics success. Leaders need to position and promote the use of data-driven decisions and analytics as critical to the success of the organization. The four leadership roles that are needed to take on the challenges of implementing big-data analytics in an organization include:

  1. Chief Data Officer: the data owner and architect who sets the data definitions and strategies
  2. Chief Analytics Officer: has a board-level realm and responsibilities to maintain forward-thinking progress
  3. Data Scientists: provide high technical skills and are proficient in their understanding of the business
  4. Data Manager: serves as the organizer and architect of the data

To review, see Embracing Big Data and Data Analytics.

3c. Summarize what comprises good leadership in implementing data-driven decision-making

  • What are some of the common traits that typically identify effective leaders?
  • How are Contrast the differences between task-centered and employee-centered styles of leadership behavior different?
  • How are autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire styles of leadership different?

People often evaluate effective leaders based on personality or leadership traits. These traits can vary from leader to leader. There are many common characteristics that are indicators of effective leadership. There are also differences between task-centered versus employee-centered leadership behavior and the various leadership styles.

Some of the more common personality traits companies look for in making their hiring and promotion decisions include:

  • Drive

  • Desire to Lead

  • Honesty and Integrity

  • Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

  • Open-Mindedness

  • Intelligence

  • Extraversion

  • Business Knowledge

Most behavioral leadership styles fall within two categories:

  • Task-centered, which focuses on providing direction to the followers to reach a goal or achievement
  • Employee-centered, which focuses on building relationships to inspire followers

A leader's style can often be identified in the way they make decisions, especially in the degree to which they seek employee involvement. This aspect of leadership is divided into a spectrum of three broad categories:

  • An Autocratic leader makes decisions without any significant employee involvement
  • A Democratic leadership approach significantly involves the employee team in the process
  • A Laissez-Faire approach is very hands-off, where the employees make decisions on their own.

To review, see Effective Leaders.

Unit 3 Vocabulary

This vocabulary list includes the terms that you will need to know to successfully complete the final exam.

  • autocratic
  • business knowledge
  • chief analytics officer
  • chief data officer
  • data manager
  • data scientist
  • decentralized organization
  • democratic
  • desire to lead
  • diversity
  • drive
  • employee-centered
  • empowerment
  • extraversion
  • global awareness
  • honesty
  • inquiry
  • integrity
  • intelligence
  • interpersonal competence
  • laissez-faire
  • leadership
  • open-mindedness
  • organizational community
  • self-confidence
  • self-esteem
  • strategic opportunist
  • task-centered
  • transparency
  • trust