During graduate school, my thesis advisor drilled into me a quote from W. Edwards Deming, “Without data, you are just another person with an opinion”. Since then, I’ve realized the significance of metrics, data, and analytics, to get insights into performance, especially in sales and marketing.
As an individual, I have never been averse to taking risks. In fact, one of the greatest challenges of my career was to leave the relative safety of IBM in the ’80s to cofound two software firms. By listening and reacting to what the customer wanted, we could ensure both of these succeeded. One of my most profound lessons from work has been admitting that I don’t always know the answer, and this has always led others to offer help.
Currently, we are trying to use AI to optimize various aspects of customer life cycle management. The amount of data being generated today, combined with various innovations – we’re at the cusp of a transformation where businesses go beyond selling and buying, to collaborating and co-creating.
In analytics today, I’m particularly fascinated by IoT and the rich repository of data generated through its applications across sectors. And I’d urge aspiring data scientists to embrace AI, particularly ML – AI today lacks judgment but has the power to augment your creative process.
I believe, as business leaders, we should not obsessively focus on business, technology, and process strategies alone. It’s essential to be aware of the fact that our culture supports or derails those strategies.
When not working, I’m an outdoors guy. With my wife, I’ve hiked the length of the Inca Trail, sailed in the Galapagos Islands, bicycled from Prague to Vienna, trekked in Patagonia and New Zealand.
Meet Jim Dickie: Sales Transformation Leader, AI Enthusiast, and Adventurer
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