Data management is critical to many (if not all) companies and industries. In general, data management is a broad term, so people tend to misunderstand everything it can encompass. It is a company’s collection, organization, and access to data. This summary, while succinct, still doesn’t help explain all that data management is.

More importantly, it fails to explain the importance of adaptive leadership in data management. Adaptive leadership is one of the most practical approaches to management, in that leaders embrace what is working (and necessary) and ignore the ineffective or useless styles. 

How does adaptive leadership work in data management? Data is often pictured as the information stored on paper or computers, but it is often also the people. People require access to data for it to be useful. Likewise, there is data stored in every employee’s head. As such, part of data management is inevitable people management.

The People Side of Data

As mentioned above, the people side of data is often overlooked. Assuming it is acknowledged, the recognition is often minuscule compared to everything else. For example, how often do you hear about an employee tasked with multiple data-related tasks? Too often, likely. This is because the human side of data management is overshadowed.

More and more companies are embracing the idea of data management. Yet most don’t have formal roles to handle this management process. The companies most on top of this process have introduced a new role – chief data officer.

However, even these companies often fail to bring the chief data officer in for decision-making. This is where adaptive leadership comes into play.

Adaptive Leadership in Data Management

So, how does a company combine data management and adaptive leadership? By combining the needs of tech with the needs of people, companies can better understand both sides of the issue. Since adaptive management encourages only utilizing practical tools and styles, ideally, this will help them further focus on these concerns.

Adaptive leaders are more likely to appreciate individual employees and their inherent value to the company. This includes chief data officers! As mentioned earlier, they’re not included often enough during meetings. An adaptive leader will be less likely to make this mistake.

In other words, an adaptive leadership style can open the door for a data-driven decision, thanks to the inclusion of the company’s data specialist. When phrased that way, it makes complete sense that this would be the most efficient use of resources.