Bridging Sales, Marketing & Metrics: Data Governance & Collaboration
Smarter GTM 12.15.2023

Bridging Sales, Marketing & Metrics: Data Governance & Collaboration

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In this episode of Sunny Side Up, Chris Moody interviews Dora Boussias on the nuances of developing a robust data strategy and balancing immediate data requirements with a long-term vision. She underscores the need to align teams, particularly sales and marketing, around a unified set of goals and metrics and foster an environment encouraging transparency and teamwork. Dora also stresses the critical balance between data-driven storytelling and emotional intelligence, emphasising the need for professionals to build relationships and communicate effectively in the workplace. Throughout the conversation, they discuss the importance of adapting to change, investing in soft skills, and the mutual respect required for successful collaboration.

About the Guest

Dora Boussias is a business data and technology strategic thought leader and practitioner with deep domain expertise in data & analytics, enterprise architecture, and digital transformation; accustomed to walking the line between Business & IT, comfortable with driving change at global organizations.  Dora is a passionate frequent speaker on the topics of data, organizational culture, and transformational leadership. She advocates for ‘women in tech’ and was recognized on the ‘Global Data Power Women List 2023’. Dora is a sought-out mentor/coach by early to senior career professionals. She also serves on several advisory boards leveraging her domain expertise and exposure to Financial Services, Insurance, Retail, Education, and Healthcare/MedTech over her 29-year career.

Connect with Dora Boussias 

Key Takeaways

  • Coupling technical expertise with a firm grasp of business operations is essential.
  • Aim to rapidly access and trust your data, ensuring it meets operational needs and scalability.
  • Align your team with a shared language and common goals to prioritise data initiatives effectively.
  • Immediate solutions should consider potential future applications to avoid costly revisions later on.
  • Build what is necessary for the present while strategically advancing toward a well-defined target state methodically.
  • Design data systems that adapt to the macro economy, industry, and technology changes.
  • Clear, shared goals and understanding standard success metrics are foundational for effective teamwork.
  • Transparency and accountability in roles and expectations encourage a united effort towards organisational objectives.
  • Asking “What can I do to help you?” rather than “What can you do for me?” shifts the focus to mutual support and expected progress.
  • Change is inevitable, and resisting it is futile. Instead, embracing change and seeking collaboration leads to shared success.
  • Respecting what each person brings and approaching interactions with curiosity can drive better collaboration.
  • Recognise the importance of personal development in soft skills, often overlooked in traditional education, to improve workplace dynamics.


“When we work together, we are going further together.” – Dora Boussias

Highlights from the Episode

You’ve spent nearly 29 years in tech across various roles. How has your experience been? Could you give our listeners an insight into this fascinating journey?

Dora’s journey in the tech industry spans nearly three decades. She has played various roles with a steadfast focus on data. Dora has evolved from a mainframe programmer to an enterprise architect, highlighting her adaptability and broad skill set. She is spearheading data strategy and architecture at Stryker in the medtech sector. Her career has touched various domains, including retail, finance, insurance, healthcare, and education. This diversity in experience has given her exposure to different fields and demonstrated the versatility of tech skills across industries.

Can you discuss your role in developing data strategy and architecture, the challenges of establishing a data management function, and your goals in this process?

For organisations grappling with data challenges, it’s crucial to focus on creating a reliable and scalable data management system. Dora’s advice is to aim for data that is accessible, trustworthy, and quickly retrievable. Companies should shift from a project-centric to a product-centric data approach, ensuring contextual and collaborative data management. Prioritising the right initiatives and fostering a culture that eschews silos in favour of shared goals is essential. Establishing a resilient data infrastructure will balance the need for speed with the imperative of risk management.

How do you balance immediate data needs with long-term projects requiring team collaboration, primarily when pressure for quick results exists?

Effective data management requires a balance between immediate needs and long-term strategic planning. Quick fixes must be approached with foresight, considering their implications on future analytics and scalability. Organisations can address current demands by focusing on a phased approach towards a clearly defined target state while paving the way for sustainable growth and adaptability.

What are the main challenges in aligning sales and marketing around different success metrics and systems, and how do leadership strategies like early metric setting and teamwork improve marketing success?

For organisations looking to align sales and marketing, start by dismantling operational silos and creating a unified definition of success. This involves establishing common objectives, clarifying the meaning of success across teams, and synchronising data and systems. Coordination and orchestration of initiatives are crucial, with an understanding that different functions, like sales and marketing, should support one another’s efforts while having distinct roles. Leadership must incentivise teams towards shared goals and maintain a culture of collaboration, respect, and empathy to drive the organisation forward.

What baby steps can organisations take to foster sales and marketing alignment, mainly when dealing with different metrics, data, systems, and resistant personalities, without changing the compensation structure?

Facing resistance to change within an organisation requires a strategic approach that involves embracing the change personally and collectively. The key to success is fostering a collaborative culture where individual contributions align with common goals. Initiatives must be intentional, supported by executive leadership, and focused on building a transparent, cooperative environment. Shifting the question from “What can you do for me?” to “What can I do for you?” individuals can cultivate a team-centric mindset that propels everyone forward, ultimately benefiting the organisation.

How can professionals balance a strong focus on data-driven storytelling with the necessity for emotional intelligence and relationship-building in the workplace?

Embracing the dual imperative of mastering data governance and nurturing interpersonal skills is crucial for any professional. The advice is clear: ensure data quality through proven governance practices while investing in communication skills to collaborate effectively with cross-functional teams. Recognising the value of diverse expertise, listening actively, and tailoring conversations to resonate with different stakeholders is paramount. Building trust and respect through these practices drives project success and enhances career trajectory.

Good reads: Is there a book, blog, newsletter, website, or video that you would recommend to our listeners?

Some good people: Could you share the names of 3 inspirational people in the B2B space that you recommend we bring to the show?

George Firican – Founder of LightsOnData Consulting & Training


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