It was October 2016 in Stuttgart. I walked into the seminar room and there he was, seated in the front row: my ex-boss, to whom I had owed so much of my hands-on experience with data management in a global enterprise, where I spent 18 years prior to joining CDQ. But this time I was not there to deliver a progress report.
I was to step into the forefront and lecture about best practices in data management. The CDQ Academy for Data Management was just commencing its fourth edition and I found myself there to stand-in on short notice for a sick colleague who used to be the regular trainer. Only 5 months earlier I had collected my own Academy certificate and there I was to put the teacher’s hat on in front of such a demanding audience . How nerve-wracking indeed!
As I was walking the twenty-something participants through the course material I learned an essential lesson myself – the CDQ Academy paradigm is to facilitate sharing of state-of-the-art expertise in data management.
It takes theory and practice to have your data quality sing
Participants appreciate the setting rather as a moderated exchange amongst a community of experts and aspiring professionals, built around the formal backbone of the widely recognized CDQ Data Excellence Model. Systematic clarification of relevant concepts and core data management capabilities, backed up by practical examples. In group exercises attendees brainstorm on practical case studies, collectively reinforcing their takeaways thanks to diversity of business contexts they are coming from: engineering, retail, pharma, banking, automotive, etc.
Side by side - the biggest global brands and small players, those with years into digital transformation and those only embracing the data-enablement.
As one of participants has put it,
the CDQ Academy provides fundamental insights on how to become a data-driven organization. And another one seconds:
The theoretical part in connection with practical examples gave me a really good perspective on how I can address the right topics and ultimately get better results in my projects.
It is certainly one of the reasons why many companies have been using the CDQ Academy year after year, as the standard Level 0 training program for onboarding their data management personnel. What they expect is a well-structured foundation that is meant to ensure common understanding of data-related topics as well as effective pitching on data-to-business value.
And some go at truly great lengths to attend – our furthermost participant came all the way from… New Zealand!
Spreading on data excellence
With the rapid adoption of remote collaboration practices, in 2020 the Academy transformed from classroom to the on-line teaching format, thus waiving the travel effort and expenses. On top of the standard curriculum the Academy staff has been offering customized training programs (both on-line and at company’s facilities) to accommodate for training larger groups of attendees at a time.
A very unique practice has always been a hallmark of the CDQ Academy: a remarkable line-up of guest speakers from highly mature, reputable companies, willing to share best practices and lessons-learned from their data transformation journeys. More than 85 guest speaker experts have kindly shared their know-how and best practice examples, always sparking vivid questions from the audience considering how to adopt what they have seen in their native environments.
Know-how shared is know-how doubled
Then one should not underestimate the networking aspect as a bonus benefit. The sense of community spirit is clearly evident in the fact that some guest speakers would continue to lecture at CDQ Academy even after they changed their employer (along with the respective change of presented content), and some have put on the professor’s hat only few years after they… graduated from the Academy themselves (which is by the way a clear proof of highly accelerated professional growth) .
"If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable” (Seneca)
A few years and countless teaching hours after, I would still not dare to educate my ex-boss on how to manage data. As I learned after, he appreciated that training as an opportunity to step aside and look upon his vast practical experience through the lens of the CDQ data excellence framework, revisit his understanding of established concepts and perhaps brush-up and even challenge his knowledge with some latest trends.
For this Academy is about moderated sharing of know-how. Practitioners to practitioners. Veterans and contenders. Data know-how democratization in practice.
Fast forward, with more than half a thousand data professionals trained to-date, the CDQ Academy enters its anniversary 10th edition.
Since 2013 this training program has been providing a proven framework of intermediate destinations for your journey across the ocean of data management concepts. Dare to set sail with us and enroll soon!
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