The Data Chief | Episode 1

ThoughtSpot's Cindi Howson on the new role of the CDO

Cindi Howson

Chief Data Strategy Officer


Current EpisodeEP1: ThoughtSpot's Cindi Howson on the new role of the CDO

Episode Overview

Cindi Howson is the Chief Data Strategy Officer at ThoughtSpot and our host of The Data Chief. To kick off this new podcast, we wanted to switch the roles… today, Cindi is our guest!

Tune in for a discussion between Cindi and Ian Faison, Executive Producer of The Data Chief, about culture, leadership, innovation, data for good, and what you can expect from future episodes of The Data Chief.

Key Takeaways:

  • How being an aspiring writer – but a lousy typist – got Cindi into technology.

  • The biggest changes Cindi has witnessed over the last 20 years.

  • Where the new role of CDO (Chief Data Officer) fits into the hierarchy among the CIO and CAO, the barriers someone in this position can expect to face, and the ways we can expect this role to evolve in the months and years to come.

Key Quotes:

I do believe that data is the thing that can empower an organization to better know their customers and to provide the best-personalized customer experience. In a digital world, without data, you don’t know who your customer is, anymore.
ThoughtSpot has a culture of selfless excellence. They also created this role [for] me to work on the things with customers that I care most about: helping them unlock the power of data, but two other passions I have in the industry [are] around improving diversity — and that’s not just women in tech, it’s also ethnic minorities … and also around data for good. To me, that initiative cuts across any single provider.
Data can be used to make the world a better place and to solve real problems.

What Cindi is excited to discuss on the episodes ahead:

Some of it is what, I hope, my guests will share. It’s their personal journeys to this role — what makes them tick. But then I hope they will share what has not worked — so their failures. And I think that is a very hard thing for people to talk about.

Guest Bio:

Cindi Howson is an analytics and BI expert with 20-plus years’ experience and a flair for bridging business needs with technology. Cindi is the Chief Data Strategy Officer at ThoughtSpot, was previously a Gartner Vice President in data and analytics, lead author of the Analytics and BI Magic Quadrant data and analytics maturity model, as well as a researcher in data and AI for good, NLP/BI Search, and augmented analytics.

Cindi introduced the BI bake-offs and innovation panels at Gartner events globally and is a popular keynote speaker. Prior to this, she was the Founder of BI Scorecard, a resource for in-depth product reviews based on exclusive hands-on testing, a contributor to Information Week, and the author of several books including Successful Business Intelligence: Unlock the Value of BI & Big Data and SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0: The Complete Reference.