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Building a Collaborative Culture in Analytics

As companies continuously adapt to shifting data regulations, many have struggled to find a balance between keeping up with lightning-speed regulatory obligations and cultivating organizational success.

Uday Kamath, Chief Analytics Officer at Smarsh, expertly navigates the precarious field of data regulations. Serving as a leader of the company’s highly collaborative and productive data and analytics team, Uday offers over 20 years of expertise and experience. With proven skill and technical knowledge in statistical learning techniques, machine learning theory and practical implementation, optimization techniques, fraud detection, biometrics, and more, Uday is genuinely an expert from which any team across all industries can learn.

Offering advice to organizations and leaders, Uday joins us to discuss what elevates a team to a level of excellence.


Building a Collaborative Culture in Analytics


Collaboration as the ticket to success

Establishing well-defined goals and objectives is essential to achieving organizational success. The organization should have clearly defined goals, and each team within the organization should also have goals. Finally, each individual should also have outlined objectives that they are working towards.

Most importantly, according to Uday, each of these goals should be aligned.


“There needs to be a clear connection between company goals, team goals, and individual goals. People need to see how their work impacts the team’s end result.” — Uday Kamath


To achieve overall company success, particularly within the unstable environment of machine learning and data analytics, it is vital to ensure that each working part of the machine is working in unison towards a common end.

In addition, teams should be comfortable with failure. Building an intelligent and agile team, unafraid to act quickly and fail fast, will provide endless growth, improvement, and scaling opportunities.

If each member within an organization is working towards a defined common goal, the company is more likely to experience propulsion towards achieving that specific goal. Unfortunately, most organizations are scattered, aiming different teams and individuals toward various goals. While these companies may eventually reach a certain level of success, it is much less likely, as the employees will each pull the organization in the different directions that they are working towards. Success and growth in organizations with these unorganized, problematic cultures will also happen at a much slower, less calculated pace.


The power of constructive criticism and positive feedback

Feedback is especially important in a team that is allowed to fail and take calculated risks.

As an essential ingredient to a thriving team, feedback is critical for fostering growth in improvement by recognizing problems to fix and areas of strength.

After years of diverse experience, Uday has learned that leaders should provide individuals with one-on-one constructive criticism and support for future improvements. But, just as important, each employee should be provided with positive feedback so that they are empowered to continuously improve. Both positive and constructive feedback allows each employee to see the impact they are making on their team and the company, therefore attributing value to their contributions.


“Give feedback directly to team members so they can see their growth over time. Having that open communication with managers, as well as their direct reports, is key to creating a healthy team.” — Uday Kamath


Direct feedback should be incorporated throughout each company level, regardless of tenure or hierarchy. If feedback is appropriately incorporated, each team member across all levels of the organization will be provided the support, encouragement, and means to continuously improve.

Building a healthy team where communication is cultivated, feedback is well-accepted, and members are allowed to utilize their skills and expertise to advance the organization will lead to higher levels of success.


How healthy teams and strong collaboration translates to AI success

A vast majority of AI projects fail. Over 85% of AI projects are in the experimental phase or never reach production.

AI has the power to change the world. But navigating AI projects' development, production, and maintenance, particularly in the context of constantly evolving regulations, is extremely difficult. Therefore, most AI fails before it even reaches the market.


“Successful AI can seem unattainable because it often comes packaged with unrealistic goals, ill-defined problems, and poor processes. It must be approached by teams in a scalable way, ensuring that it is the right solution to any problems and making sure that it is being tracked, measured, and improved upon with each iteration.— Uday Kamath


Because of the complexity of AI development, production, and maintenance, having a strong, healthy, collaborative team is absolutely pertinent to project success.

With ceaseless challenges, AI companies and teams must create a healthy culture that cultivates empowerment to fail and adapt, agility to respond to changes, and the skill to navigate the complicated world of machine learning.

Listen to the Full Episode with Uday Kamath

Subscribe to the Data Legends Podcast


Additional Resources

Read the Blog: 10 DevOps Tools for Continuous Monitoring

Watch the Video: Data Lake Opportunities: Rethinking Data Analytics Optimization

Check out the Whitepaper: 2022 Gartner® Market Guide for Analytics Query Accelerators

About the Author, Courtney Pallotta

Courtney is passionate about building dynamic teams and developing marketing strategies that help customers understand and benefit from exciting technology. Outside of work, she and her husband enjoy cheering on their three children from many sidelines and discovering all things outdoors in the Rocky Mountains. More posts by Courtney Pallotta