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In the second episode of the ODI Inside Business podcast, ODI’s Business Director Stuart Coleman is joined by Dame Wendy Hall DBE, FRS, FREng, Regius Professor of Computer Science, Associate Vice President (International Engagement) and Executive Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton; Helen Crooks, Chief Data Officer, Ofgem, and Ambassador for AI and Data Economy for Innovate UK; Christopher Argent, Founder and Managing Director, Generation CFO; and Abubakar Suleiman, CEO, Sterling Bank. 

Fields like accountancy, finance, medicine and law are all highly professionalised, and have formally recognised training, (e.g. Certified Public Accountant – CPA; CFA – Certified Financial Analyst, etc.) that adds a credibility stamp to a business leader's expertise and increases their trustworthiness within their network. We tend to trust people in white-collar professions because they are certified by a credible and highly respected third party. They have well established ethical codes of conduct, like the Hippocratic Oath for medical professionals.

Such a credibility stamp doesn’t exist in data. We have no way to tell if people in data have the same level of credibility. Not having data professionalised could be a threat to all of us; customers, clients, organisations and society as a whole. Low trust or a lack of it can compromise an organisation’s reputation and stifle innovation.

Data needs to be professionalised in order for Chief Data Officers, Chief Information Officers and Chief Technology Officers to demonstrate and build trust with their internal and external audiences. What businesses need to do with data must be codified – there is a lack of clarity around what people should be doing around skills, ethics and infrastructure. That gap might be indicative of the low professionalisation of the field.

In this episode we will explore whether a lack of formal AI and data literacy in the boardroom is a significant risk to an organisation’s reputation.

Listen here

The Open Data Institute · Inside Business: Why data literacy is needed in the boardroom

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