Chapter One Welcome to the Networked Ecosystem

Executive Summary: In a digital networked ecosystem with no clear time or physical boundaries, traditional strategies and tactics deployed by communication professionals will not work, and might even be harmful. Newer and more agile methods based on careful data analysis and scientific reasoning are required.

These days, it seems as though every executive feels obligated to talk about the critical need for collecting data, managing data, analyzing data, storing data, and harvesting insights from data. All of those activities are important, but what’s even more important is creating a corporate culture in which data is respected, valued, and understood. From my perspective, the primary barrier to extracting value from data is culture, not technology.

The processes of data science are inherently collaborative and cross-disciplinary, which essentially means you cannot do data science in a vacuum. It cannot be relegated to the basement or to a back room. It’s a team sport. There are plenty of moving parts that require careful orchestration and dedicated leadership.

Too often I see data siloed in specialized groups or I hear people talking about using data to generate insights. Your organization can have all the insights in the world, but they will not help unless you have a culture that knows how to transform those insights into ideas and effective decisions.

In the twenty-first-century economy, data is the fuel we use to make better ...

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