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Video Quick Take: SAS’ Udo Sglavo on Why People Are The Foundation of Curiosity

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Julie Devoll, HBR
Welcome to the HBR Fast Take. I’m Julie Devoll, editor for particular initiatives and webinars at HBR. And at this time, I’m joined by Udo Sglavo, Vice President of Superior Analytics at SAS. Sglavo leads a workforce chargeable for constructing and testing the SAS analytical ecosystem, in addition to shaping the imaginative and prescient and implementation of progressive analytical methods in SAS software program.

Udo, thanks a lot for becoming a member of us at this time.

Udo Sglavo, SAS 
Hey, Julie. Thanks a lot for having me.

Julie Devoll, HBR
Udo, let’s begin off with, “what fuels your personal curiosity?”

Udo Sglavo, SAS 
Nicely, there are such a lot of issues I might level out. However I believe an important one is individuals. And by individuals, I imply actually individuals inside and outdoors of SAS. Speaking to our clients and prospects, we be taught a lot about what’s on their minds. But in addition, listening to about their successes, their insights, and their failures helps us to form our merchandise.

When speaking to our shoppers in regards to the enterprise challenges they’re going through of their respective industries, that permits us to guarantee that our software program stays related. But in addition at SAS, we have now among the main specialists, the brightest minds within the space of analytics speaking to them about their particular area experience and their insights is likely one of the highlights of my position, Julie.

Julie Devoll, HBR
In order a frontrunner, how are you encouraging curiosity inside SAS?

Udo Sglavo, SAS 
I assume it’s by all the time asking why or by asking what if? I imagine it’s my position at SAS to create an atmosphere that fosters discussions and choice making which take us ahead. As you perceive, as a industrial software program vendor, it’s our important duty to create merchandise which our clients are prepared to pay for, which suggests we have now to offer distinctive worth to them.

As an R&D workforce, I imagine we’re carrying two hats. One is the world of analysis and investigation of subjects which will turn into manufacturing software program or might not. We might go down the mistaken path and be taught from these errors. But in addition, after all, we have to engineer software program for our clients to make use of at this time. We wish to push ourselves to create an ecosystem for our clients, which permits them to give attention to their very own enterprise somewhat than coping with software program engineering challenges.

Julie Devoll, HBR
Whenever you have been a brand new chief, what have been you most interested in? And what do you assume it is best to have been extra interested in?

Udo Sglavo, SAS 
That’s an superior query. So Julie, I labored for SAS fairly a while earlier than I thought-about administration as a profession possibility. And again then, the questions which stored me busy have been most likely extra know-how questions, “How can we consolidate our very broad portfolio in analytics in a method that it makes the consumer expertise extraordinarily simple? How can we create professional software program for nonexpert customers? And the way do we have to re-architect our software program to work on any system and with any knowledge?”

Missing knowledge administration expertise, I most likely ought to have questioned, properly, “How can we implement processes and the way can we upskill individuals to perform these engineering objectives?” My world was most likely method too centered round technical questions, not contemplating the significance of so-called delicate abilities like communication, management, and empathy. I’m hoping I’ve addressed this within the meantime, however that was most likely one of many issues I ought to have been interested in initially of my administration profession.

Julie Devoll, HBR
How would you describe the connection between curiosity and innovation?

Udo Sglavo, SAS 
Nicely, in his guide, Julie, Why? What Makes Us Curious, Mario Livio states that people are the one residing creation who ask “Why?” Curiosity is a want for information and understanding, which in the end results in survival in a fancy and dynamic atmosphere. A whole lot of good issues have been postulated about how curiosity fosters innovation. One wonders about a problem after which tries to find out methods of methods to make issues higher.

However frankly, it additionally works the opposite method round too. Whereas innovating, it’s possible you’ll run into new challenges or new concepts which make you surprise, properly, what if we do issues otherwise? Is there a brand new alternative for a brand new product? Is there a brand new enterprise thought? In fact, Julie, the problem is to not get too distracted and to remain on the right track with our strategic plans.

Julie Devoll, HBR
So, what areas of technological innovation do you assume have probably the most potential to alter the world?

Udo Sglavo, SAS 
I imagine it was Kevin Kelly, the founding father of the Wired journal, who launched the phrase “cognification.” The place like electrification formed the world we stay in, cognification will influence the world in methods we can not predict at this stage. First, we put the ability of muscle into objects within the type of power, steam, gasoline, electrical energy, actually giving issues like vehicles a certain quantity of horsepower.

Subsequent, I imagine we’ll cognify something electrical. For instance, self-driving vehicles are not a product of fantasy. Cognification, for me, implies that devices will turn into extra competent and extra handy to make use of. Some individuals wish to name this synthetic intelligence. Julie, after I learn AI, I sometimes take into consideration augmented intelligence, as we have to maintain the human within the middle of all our endeavors.

Julie Devoll, HBR
Udo, I wish to change gears a bit and discuss in regards to the pandemic. How has SAS helped organizations by means of this time to emerge extra resilient?

Udo Sglavo, SAS 
Through the pandemic, all of us most likely had extra questions than solutions. Residents, first responders, politicians, and enterprise leaders alike have been hungry for info to information choices that would have monumental penalties on society. One factor turned obvious, Julie. I believe choices primarily based on knowledge and evaluation could make a distinction in how society reacts to the disaster. And it’s serving to us discover methods to ship higher outcomes.

We talked to many organizations about understanding the unfold of the illness, forecasting and optimizing assets, and investigating remedies. Some outstanding examples, Julie, are optimizing hospital assets comparable to hospital beds to save lots of lives, understanding the coronavirus and the way it spreads, speaking to the pharma trade. However we additionally labored with clients within the consumer-packaged items industries to determine methods to forecast provide and demand for crucial items.

Julie Devoll, HBR
What trade or know-how may gain advantage from extra curious minds?

Udo Sglavo, SAS 
Nicely, the trade which involves my thoughts instantly is well being care. I imagine everyone seems to be impacted, a technique or one other, by the improvements within the well being care system across the globe. And naturally, the query is, “how can we maintain it inexpensive?”

In my thoughts, analytical insights can drive what I might name value-based well being care. Think about analytics that may. Think about the usage of knowledge for improved scientific choices. After which lastly, after all, there’s this entire world of what we name “the web of issues,” streaming knowledge so we are able to use way more real-time knowledge for our choice making within the well being care atmosphere.

Julie Devoll, HBR
How has Covid-19 modified the tempo of innovation?

Udo Sglavo, SAS 
Nicely, isn’t it thrilling how little time it took to develop the Covid-19 vaccination? However let’s face it, some industries are solely now waking as much as the necessity for digitalization. That is additionally fueled by a extra common appreciation of know-how progress we noticed in the course of the pandemic. General, I imagine we’ll enhance our reliance on real-world proof, which suggests we’ll mix operational or real-world knowledge, comparable to knowledge from well being care data, health trackers, insurance coverage claims, and so forth, with analytics for higher choice making.

Julie Devoll, HBR
Udo, I wish to conclude by asking what issues you wish to see the usage of knowledge and analytics fixing subsequent?

Udo Sglavo, SAS 
That’s, after all, the query which retains us awake at evening. I imagine hiding computational complexities behind easy-to-use purposes is the reply. Julie, your smartphone and your automobile are nice examples specializing in comfort and value somewhat than having you to know physics or communication concept.

With analytical ecosystems, we have now come a good distance already. However we nonetheless assume a sure understanding by the top customers to grasp these environments. As soon as we are able to utterly cover these complexities behind easy-to-use purposes, the imaginative and prescient of true democratization of analytics will turn into actual.

Julie Devoll, HBR
Udo, this has been an excellent dialogue. I wish to thanks a lot for becoming a member of us at this time.

Udo Sglavo, SAS 
Thanks for having me.

Julie Devoll, HBR
When you’d wish to be taught extra about how innovators are turning curiosity into functionality, go to SAS.com/curiosity.

Find out how SAS helps organizations turn curiosity into capability with superior analytics.

 

 

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