Conducting interviews with data leaders is something I genuinely enjoy. Having been in their position before, I can empathize with their situation. During these conversations, whether in person or virtually, I steer clear of buzzwords and focus on asking meaningful questions that encourage them to speak from the heart. This approach resonates with them and is beneficial for the audience as well.
Through these interviews, I have realized that chief data officers (CDOs) face many expectations and must deal with large amounts of ambiguity. Beyond ensuring that data is usable, trusted and secure, they are also expected to handle so much more. And unlike the well-established roles of CEO and CFO, the playbook and best practices for success are constantly evolving for CDOs.
These data leaders need a place to find and share collective wisdom, fuel learning, encourage collaboration and foster innovation. The Informatica CDO Spotlight videos can be a great way to help data leaders navigate the complexities of digital management in a digital world.
As Wendy Batchelder, the SVP of Data Governance and Chief Data Officer (CDO) of Trust at Salesforce, points out, there’s been a significant shift in mindset from “We had to” to “We get to” in talking about the opportunity to work hand in hand with the business. She also emphasizes how important it is for every data practitioner to demonstrate the value of data management and data governance.
Where Data Leaders Discuss the Latest Trends
While he was CDO at Lumen Technologies, Sibito Morley found that reducing data fragmentation and complexity was crucial for driving value. He decided to simplify the technology environment by retiring over 1600 data sources to achieve this. His team’s goal: facilitate quick and effortless connections between people, data and applications. And Sibito knew that would require focusing on self-service capabilities and automated product delivery.
Sibito understood how his team needed to be highly disciplined in building their data mesh and the data products that would drive the most value for Lumen’s customers as part of Lumen’s data marketplace. They wanted to highlight the capabilities (such as finding data) and features (like how they could generate an NPS score to gauge the dependability and trustworthiness of that data). With that approach, they enabled self-service usage for their data scientists and analytics teams, who then created innovative data combinations and published them so others could consume them simultaneously.
Where You Can Identify Ways to Be Successful
CDOs need to understand better how to think of data as an investment. This requires education, improving data fluency and data literacy. Everyone is talking about generative AI now, but it still comes down to having access to good-quality data.
I recently spoke with Alex Tait, Chief Data and Analytics Officer for the U.S. division of BMO Financial Group. In our conversation, he shared how having discoverable, trusted and well-managed data is essential, regardless of what’s happening in the economy. Alex feels that data is even more important during challenging times. He believes data is an enabler that helps people to identify opportunities to grow revenue, optimize costs and reduce risks.
Alex also pointed out the importance of showing how their data program enables business value. His primary goals for the program — driving automation, enhancing the discoverability of data assets for the enterprise and eliminating friction points through self-service — have already been a massive lift for BMO’s business partners and accelerated their time to market.
Where Data Leaders Share How They Bring Data Strategy to Life
In the CDO Spotlight video series, each data leader we showcase possesses an impressive resume, a reputation for innovation and a willingness to share their expertise and journey. Just as we’ve done with these first three episodes, every conversation will delve into their strategy development and implementation. Each CDO will share how they have helped their organizations achieve exceptional business results.
I have already been part of some fascinating conversations and look forward to having many more. And I can’t wait to see what’s next from this vibrant, global community.
Learn more about how to build a winning data strategy for your organization at www.informatica.com/cdo.
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