Guest Post: Beyond the Professor: Gilligan’s Island and the data science talent search

I am not a data scientist. I repeat, I am not a data scientist.

Last week I spoke on a panel with the author of this blog and several other decision intelligence executives. Our topic, “Who is Your Chief Decision Officer”, was a hit. The discussion centered on the fact that the data and technology exist today to make “Big Decisions” within complex organizational systems.  However, most companies are missing a strategic owner of the data.

Since technical conference attendees typically flock to see high-level data scientists, or folks doing cool stuff technically, I asked myself why this people-centered topic seemed to resonate.

There are 1,000’s of use cases that cannot be solved with machine learning data only.  These involve complex systems, with little or no historical data.  No matter how sophisticated your algorithm, these issues may always require a human to interpret them. Data can often be siloed and decisions are not made holistically. Our audience had experienced these types of issues in their organizations, and the topic hit home.

At dinner the night before our panel session, we joked that the group was a bit like the cast of Gilligan’s Island. They had the Professor, the Movie Star, the Millionaire, and his wife. We had the Data Scientist, the Analytics Consultant, The Big Data Expert, and the Talent Executive.

So why is this important and how does it relate to decision intelligence?

Decision intelligence answers the question, “If I make this decision today how will it impact my business tomorrow?” It uses a variety of inputs that are diverse and brought together through systems analysis.

Diversity of data and diversity of thought are not that different. We wouldn’t make a complex organizational decision with only one data point and we typically don’t make human impacted decisions with only one point of view.

I repeat, I am not a data scientist, I am a talent executive. I may not be able to write an algorithm but I do have a keen sense of how to build teams of individuals that through their unique talents create innovation. In this case diversity of thought, like diversity of data, knocked it out of the park.

The next time you use DI to make a “Big Decision,” think about the human component. Share on X

Gilligan would be proud.

Update: you can now watch the panel video.

June Boda
Head of Operations, Talent Acquisition

As a Human Resource and Talent practitioner I started my career in corporate and field HR roles with a focus on talent acquisition, talent management, succession planning, and Human Resource strategy. After leading regional and divisional HR functions in several multi-unit environments, I pivoted to operational roles where I had the opportunity to get involved in organization wide operational change projects including people, process, and technology initiatives.

Currently I am a leader at Adam Bryce Executive Search, a female owned and operated retained search firm with a focus on Emerging Technology and Diversity placement. In my time with Adam Bryce I have touched all areas of the business from Research and Delivery to Business Development and Client Management. I currently oversee the operational aspects of the firm including technology, innovation, marketing, and delivery excellence.

I have a passion for non-profit service, particularly in causes which support inclusion and women in advancing their careers. I am the former Board Co-Chair of Women for Success Triangle and a proud Board Director for Dress for Success Triangle where I will act as Board Chair in 2021. I completed my Bachelor of Science at Eastern Michigan University (go Eagles!) focused on Business, Communication and Human Environments and received a Master of Science in Human Resources from Western Carolina University. My current professional interests center around Talent Trends, Executive Remuneration, HR Transformation and Diversity and Inclusion. I'm a native Michigander and currently call Raleigh, NC home. When not working you will find me hanging out with my dogs, cooking or reading one of the three (sometimes four) books on my nightstand.

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