Presented By O’Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
September 11, 2018: Training & Tutorials
September 12–13, 2018: Keynotes & Sessions
New York, NY

Executive Briefing: Most data-driven cultures aren’t

Cassie Kozyrkov (Google)
4:35pm–5:15pm Wednesday, 09/12/2018
Data-driven business management, Strata Business Summit
Location: 1E 14 Level: Non-technical
Secondary topics:  Machine Learning in the enterprise, Media, Marketing, Advertising
Average rating: ****.
(4.30, 10 ratings)

What you'll learn

  • Understand the role of data science within an organization, how to structure teams for maximum effectiveness, and how to avoid classic pitfalls


Despite the rise of data engineering and data science functions in today’s corporations, leaders report difficulty in extracting value from data. Many organizations aren’t aware that they have a blindspot with respect to their lack of data effectiveness, and hiring experts doesn’t seem to help. Instead, one of two organizational outcomes is common:

  • Expert teams may grow increasingly isolated and begin to overfocus on publishing for an academic audience, thereby neglecting the needs of their parent organization.
  • The data science function is diluted by embedding experts in teams that lack the requisite knowledge to direct their work, rewarding output that is more familiar to the team and failing to reward the very work that would make the best use of the expert’s skills.

In both situations, the result hampers the ability of the organization to maximize the impact and value of its data.

Cassie Kozyrkov examines what it takes to build a truly data-driven organizational culture and highlights a vital yet often neglected job function: the data science manager.

Photo of Cassie Kozyrkov

Cassie Kozyrkov


Cassie Kozyrkov is Google Cloud’s chief decision scientist. Cassie is passionate about helping everyone make better decisions through harnessing the beauty and power of data. She speaks at conferences and meets with leadership teams to empower decision makers to transform their industries through AI, machine learning, and analytics. At Google, Cassie has advised more than a hundred teams on statistics and machine learning, working most closely with research and machine intelligence, Google Maps, and ads and commerce. She has also personally trained more than 15,000 Googlers (executives, engineers, scientists, and even nontechnical staff members) in machine learning, statistics, and data-driven decision making. Previously, Cassie spent a decade working as a data scientist and consultant. She’s a leading expert in decision science, with undergraduate studies in statistics and economics at the University of Chicago and graduate studies in statistics, neuroscience, and psychology at Duke University and NCSU. When she’s not working, you’re most likely to find Cassie at the theatre, in an art museum, exploring the world, playing board games, or curled up with a good novel.