Blog | 24 Apr 2024

You don’t have to be an IT expert to lead on AI

Debra D’Agostino

Managing Director, Thought Leadership; Co-Managing Director, Oxford Economics USA

The following excerpt was originally published as one of six perspectives by female leaders as part of the IBM report, ‘Forging the future of AI: Women can take the lead.’ Oxford Economics is proud to have contributed to the research that was used to inform the report and its findings.

The adoption curve for AI will vary across companies but, according to our data, it’s probably already in use in customer service and marketing—areas where women are more likely to hold leadership roles.

Women aren’t idling when it comes to piloting AI tools. They are more likely than men to have used AI to generate, edit, and summarise content, and nearly 40% have used it for graphic design, and image and video generation. What’s more, 40% of women say using generative AI has resulted in a greater than 10% increase in productivity.

Are any of these women IT experts? Maybe—but they don’t need to be. Understanding and anticipating how AI can best augment the unique needs and capabilities of your team is more important; then you can work with the right people in IT to make it happen. In fact, all of our research to date shows that the most important quality that leads to AI success is one that’s uniquely human—creativity.

For example, at Oxford Economics I am part of a global working group to help our economists, analysts, and researchers identify specific generative AI tools to amp up their productivity—from automating literature reviews and desk research to quickly querying large data sets and identifying trends drawn from qualitative insights. We are also testing ways generative AI can help our clients get deeper insight from our economic briefings and forecasts.

Author

Debra D’Agostino

Managing Director, Thought Leadership; Co-Managing Director, Oxford Economics USA

+1 (646) 380 9454

Debra D’Agostino

Managing Director, Thought Leadership; Co-Managing Director, Oxford Economics USA

New York, United States

Debra D’Agostino founded Oxford Economics’ Thought Leadership division in 2011 and serves as its managing director. She oversees a global team of editors, researchers and analysts who conduct ground-breaking research programs in partnership with the world’s most forward-looking organizations, on topics ranging from business transformation, emerging technology, diversity and inclusion, talent and leadership to risk management and corporate finance. Debra also leads Oxford Economics’ global consulting business development team, serves as co-managing director for the firm’s operations in the Americas, and is a member of Oxford Economics’ global Senior Management Team.

Debra joined the firm from the Economist Intelligence Unit, the research arm of the Economist Group, where she led the company’s business research department for the Americas. Prior to the EIU, she served as an editor and writer at CIO Insight, the award-winning business and technology strategy journal she helped launch at Ziff Davis Media in 2001. She holds a bachelor of science in journalism from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

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