Monday, Jun 12 2017

How to Explain Your Next Big Data Project to Your CEO

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In most cases, you can’t start a project without the backing of the powers that be, including the CEO. This normally means you need to formulate a method for getting everyone on board and, if your CEO or other members of management aren’t particularly tech-oriented, that can be a feat on its own. To help you explain your next big data project to those who must buy off, here are some tips for managing those conversations.

Make the Value Clear with a Small Pilot

Your first step to getting your CEO on board might not be to craft a strong pitch; it could be running a small-scale trial. Beginning with a pilot gives you the ability to confirm the project holds quantifiable value while also giving you concrete evidence to support the endeavor. Aim to demonstrate how the project will be beneficial in a monetary context, such as how it can increase revenues or lower operating costs.


In the end, this approach gives you something clear you can bring to the CEO and serves as an indication to how the project can help the bottom line.

Set Up a Demo

If your CEO isn’t as comfortable with big data technology, setting up a demo of the technology can help bridge any gaps in understanding. Explain the steps in plain English and let them experience how the solution works in real-time. The purpose of this approach is to increase their comfort with the project while simultaneously affirming your competency. A well-managed demo can build trust between you and management, making it easier to secure that ever-important buy off.

Keep Them Apprised of Your Progress

Often, you’ll need to reconfirm your CEO’s support throughout the project, especially if it will be a long-term endeavor. By keeping leadership in the loop as you make progress, you increase their understanding of the project through transparency. It also gives management a chance to provide input, allowing them to be involved at critical junctures and making it easier for them to support any additional requests that may arise as things move forward.


It isn’t uncommon for certain areas of IT to feel a bit like a mystery to members of leadership who don’t have experience in the field, especially when it comes to relatively new specialties like big data analytics. By making the technology feel accessible and demonstrating the benefits clearly, you can increase their comfort level with the project while increasing their trust in you. Just remember to keep the CEO updated and engaged as the project moves forward, and aim to be completely transparent regarding your progress. Then, you may find it is easier to secure the buy offs you need to keep your big data project going.


If you are interested in learning more about getting your CEO on board with your project or need a new IT employee to join your team, The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to put your knowledge to work for you.