The Data Chief | Episode 47

LPL Financial's Cara Dailey on Data Enablement and Balancing Data Defense with Offense

Cara Dailey

EVP and Chief Data Officer

LPL Financial

Current EpisodeEP47: LPL Financial's Cara Dailey on Data Enablement and Balancing Data Defense with Offense

Episode Overview

It takes a multi-pronged approach to be a Chief Data Officer in the modern day, and its trailblazers like Cara Dailey who have helped mold the position into what it is today. Cara is the  EVP and CDO for LPL Financial with previous roles at companies like Nike, Bank of the West, and Silicon Valley Bank. A veteran in the world of data, she joins The Data Chief to discuss data governance vs. data enablement, how to balance data defense with offense, the role of technology in data-driven decision-making, and her best advice to data leaders struggling to find their voice in the C-suite.

Key Moments

05:38 How is the role of CDO transforming along the cloud journey? 

16:52 Why is it so important to think of data governance as data enablement? 

25:04 What is InvestinData? 

26:21 Why are easy-to-use tools so critical to making data-driven decisions? 

30:23 How do you stay up to date in the world of data leadership? 

42:38 Why is it important to not treat all data equally?




Key Takeaways

  • Great CDOs balance offense and defense: Primarily, the role of the CDO started with the idea that organizations needed someone focused on protecting the data, keeping it safe and secure. Now, as the world has evolved, so has the role. Modern data leaders need to also be able to impact their organization by bringing value through performance data analytics for clients, customers, and employees. Cara posits that it’s not enough to simply protect; you must also ask yourself what are you actively contributing?
  • Focus on data enablement: The best data executives can think of themselves as part of a data enablement forum, inviting a collaborative attitude in the increasingly important world of data governance. Make it such an integral part of the program you’re creating as the data leader. Think of yourself and your team as the data glue that holds the organization together.
  • Not all data is created equal: While data is a powerful tool for decision-making, it’s important to remember not all data needs to or even should be valued the same. In highly regulated environments, absolute accuracy may be required. But for internal use cases like improving a product or process, directional indicators are just as good.  


Key Quotes

There's a culture shift that you have to drive. You have to change the way people are hardwired to work, which is, to be more gut-driven in their decision-making.

We wanna bring easy-to-use tools to our organization. We're going to have to go through a huge data literacy program. So we wanna have easy to use, you know, data, front doors, data, portals, to come in and understand this is what a data domain means. This is who owns it. This is the definition and, and business-speak, right? Like how can I get access to and use that data? And then the analytical tool bench, if you will, of what are the, what are the tools that I can access today to access that data?

So I think it's a balance, I think with every use case, you need to be asking yourselves, like, is this aligned to our privacy strategy and making sure that we're not violating regulations and whatnot, but I think you can create the right, you know, guardrails around that and still offer a personalized experience to your customers. Um, that's both, you know, an offense and a defense strategy.

Look, I believe that not all data is created equal. I believe that there are data set and that person is absolutely correct. You are in a regulated industry, your Y nine C better be right. Right. You're like, those are, those are financial information it's gotta be. Right. Um, but then also there's internal data that you're using that may be about the sentiment of certain aspects of a product. Right. And that's directionally accurate. It all depends on, and I hate, I hate the answer. It depends, but, uh, it does depend on, on the treatment of that, that data domain. That's why the domains are so important.

About Cara

Cara Dailey is executive vice president and chief data officer, Business Development. In this role, Ms. Dailey is responsible for the firm’s enterprise data and analytics capabilities. This will include an enterprise data & analytics strategy, a robust data governance and data product management function focused on delivering data internally and externally to fuel growth objectives and continue to bring advanced analytics capabilities to our advisors and employees in a scalable way.

Most recently, Ms. Dailey served as chief data officer at Silicon Valley Bank. In that role, she was responsible for the enterprise’s data strategy and the implementation of data and analytics capabilities. Prior to that, Ms. Dailey was head of Nike’s enterprise data management where she was responsible for driving company-wide enterprise data strategy. She has also held high-level positions at BNP Paribas (Bank of the West and First Hawaiian Bank), GE Capital, and Oracle, giving her a broad perspective into foundational data and analytics capabilities, the business outcomes it drives and modern toolsets, as well as the people who use them. Ms. Dailey earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Computer Science at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. She is also an advisory board member to the Women’s Business Collaborative (WBC), which is focused on the advancement of female leaders and achieving gender and diversity parity.