Organizations around the world are clamoring to unlock the value of data like never before. Those responsible for leading this revolution? The data chiefs.
In her twenty year career in analytics, Cindi Howson has had the opportunity to go behind the scenes with organizations who are truly exceptional when it comes to data. In The Data Chief, she brings these stories to life through insightful, inspiring interviews with some of the most successful data leaders, sharing lessons relevant for every data professional along the way.
Today’s digital economy is more competitive than ever, and making smart data decisions can be what sets the leaders apart from the rest of the field. With new technologies now democratizing data at an accelerated pace, how can companies ensure that their data strategy is helping them stay ahead of the curve? As our third season comes to a close, Cindi takes a look back at some of our most insightful conversations to lay out six essential rules that every Data Chief should follow to dominate the decade of data.
On this episode of The Data Chief, we look back at some of the key themes from season one, including the rise of the CDO, the intricacies of aligning your department’s goals with that of the businesses, and how you coped with accelerated timelines. While we relive these important conversations, we also discuss why culture and data fluency continue to be the biggest hurdles to becoming a truly data-driven business.
Each year, around 8 million tons of plastic waste enter the ocean, killing wildlife and damaging the environment for future generations. Much of this pollution originates from the wasteful packaging used for everyday grocery products. But a greener grocery alternative is making waves from across the pond. Joining us today is John Hughes, Chief Strategy Officer at The Modern Milkman, a UK-based grocery delivery company that brings locally sourced goods directly to customers without any single-use plastics. From the startup’s early days, John sought to invest heavily in data modernization. Hear how his data-driven approach has helped the company cultivate a shared mission with customers to make the world a cleaner, safer, and better place for all of its creatures.
Treating data as a treasure is a foundational principle for Jan Sheppard, the Chief Data and Analytics officer at New Zealand’s Crown Research Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR.) This agency leads ongoing research in public health, environmental health, and forensics for the country of New Zealand. Like many other CDAOs, her role is relatively new. But the unique values she applies to data can be traced back many hundreds of years to the indigenous Maori people of her country. Through her work, Jan recognizes the profound impact data can have on people and their environments for generations to come. Learn more about the important climate and health policy challenges that ESR is working to solve with data in this episode, plus her take on data literacy vs. business savviness, and why her data strategy is just two pages long.
At French bank, Société Générale, providing the best customer experience in the modern digital world means rethinking everything about banking, including its corporate structure. Three years ago, Julien Molez, joined the bank’s leadership team to become the first Innovation Data & AI Leader. On this episode of The Data Chief, Julien addresses changes sweeping the banking industry, including higher customer expectations, tougher regulations, and the ESG revolution. He also reminds us that at the end of the day, fancy AI models and algorithms will only perform as well as the data that goes into them.
It is once again that time of year when our host, Cindi Howson shares her favorite data and analytics book recommendations. In this special annual episode, we feature three of the industry’s top data writers, thinkers, and fellow podcasters. Tim Harford comes to the conversation with his new book, The Data Detective, and big-picture ideas about how traits like curiosity serve data scientists so well. Zhamak Dehghani shares her concept of The Data Mesh, especially as it relates to sharing data across business verticals. Finally, in his book, Effective Data Storytelling, Brent Dykes compels readers to think carefully about the way they craft the message or narrative around the data they’re interpreting.
Who’s hungry? Thanks to delivery apps like DoorDash, it’s never been easier for modern consumers to satisfy almost any craving in just a few taps. At the helm of DoorDash’s data organization is VP of Analytics & Data Science, Jessica Lachs. With metrics guiding every decision at the company, a key part of her decision-making comes down to properly quantifying the value of each possible tradeoff. Learn more about her decision-making framework, plus how her career in finance evolved into entrepreneurship and ultimately led her to create the data and analytics organization at DoorDash.
Swiss RE’s SVP of P&C R&D, Jerry Gupta is a firm believer in the revenue-generating potential and AI and machine learning. On this episode of The Data Chief, Jerry offers his view on innovative data models, frameworks for building and operationalizing these models, what makes a good data scientist, and why it will always be more challenging for data teams to maintain existing models vs. innovate new ones.
What keeps a data pro at one company for almost thirty years? On this episode of The Data Chief, Pascale Hutz, the Chief Data Officer and EVP of Enterprise Digital & Data Solutions at American Express, shares how her career at American Express has transformed over the years and what she’s learned along the way. Tune in to hear more about her latest cloud migration journey, why she’s on a “mission to decommission,” and how she fights imposter syndrome even as a C-level executive in one of the largest, most impactful financial services firms in the world.
How can data be activated to create better healthcare outcomes? Dr. Victoria Gamerman, the Global Head of Data Governance and Insights at Boehringer Ingelheim, offers that part of the answer is that data is changing to be thought of as part of the broader healthcare “ecosystem.” Listen in for more of Victoria’s takes on how data can improve healthcare.
What does it take to turn a new position that never existed into one that delivers transformation for an entire organization? As the first Chief Data Officer at Prudential Financial and the initial Chief Data Analytics Officer at a prior career stop at State Farm, Kjersten Moody knows the answer. Tune in to learn how being a constant learner has consistently allowed her to see challenges as opportunities for growth.
How do you make innovation truly come alive at your organization? For Abhi Bhatt, the AVP, Technology, Data & Analytics at CarMax, innovation is about taking risks, seizing opportunities, and challenging yourself to get a little better each day.. Abhi also describes his approach to upskilling teammates across the business, the role of third-party data in delivering better customer experiences, and how culture is helping companies win the war on talent.
As data and insights become more important to business success, it makes sense that the office of a Chief Data Officer has evolved as well. It’s gone from a defensive role focused on stewardship and data protection to an offensive role focused on monetization and creating strategic value. Our guest today, Heidi Lanford, CDO of Fitch Group, is seeing that evolution firsthand. She shares with us how CDOs can build effective partnerships with their executive counterparts with clear focus and communication. She also shares why there can be considerable career value in choosing to be uncomfortable, how she builds diversity into her team, and best practices for improving data literacy.
The data landscape is evolving in the life sciences and healthcare sectors. Murali Vridhachalam, the Head of Enterprise Data and Analytics at Gilead Sciences, and Mahmood Majeed, Managing Partner at ZS Associates, offer their compelling perspectives on digital transformation in life sciences and healthcare and how data can be used in these areas to improve patient outcomes. Plus, Mahmood and Murali share their takes on how to effectively reskill data professionals and the role of IT in healthcare and life sciences is evolving.
Your data will never be clean and it will never be perfect. So how do we create meaningful models anyway? As Dr. Katia Walsh puts it, data leaders are facing a “tsunami of data.” But that tsunami shouldn’t stop you from testing, iterating, and moving quickly. Dr. Walsh is the Chief Global Strategy and AI Officer at Levi Strauss & Co. and today she shares how her team has leveraged a mindset of “think big, start small, scale fast” to create cutting-edge data models and digital capabilities quickly.
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.
Data is a key asset for any organization undergoing transformation. Together, Vandana Khanna, Deeksha Singh and their teams work across continents, brands, and cultures to infuse data into every decision at Unilever. But like any major business initiative, digital transformation is a journey. The challenges and opportunities that exist are vast, varied, and endless. Tune in to hear how this dynamic duo are improving data literacy at every level, eliminating manual reporting and data visualization work, creating more awareness around bias, increasing sustainability, and driving organization-wide change with faster, easier access to insights.
Over the last two years, Afterpay has more than doubled its consumer base from 7 million to 19 million by giving consumers more opportunities to make big-ticket purchases using its simple, pay-over-time platform. Their ever-growing success in the crowded payments market is what led the company to be acquired by Block, the parent company for such brands as Cash App, Square, and TIDAL. Now, as part of the Block family, Afterpay Senior Director of Data Engineering & Governance, Nitish Mathew has made the move to Cash App where his team’s mission is to enable data and platforms for everyone in the company. He joins The Data Chief to discuss measuring the impact of analytics, the rise of the analytics engineer, the importance of taking risks, and much more.
As the Managing Executive Officer & CDO at Rakuten, Takuya Kitagawa’s charter is both varied and complex. For the past four years he has guided the digital native through accelerated expansion into multiple industries, including online banking, shopping, mobile communications, and travel, in order to deliver customers a more integrated and affordable service experience. Takuya dives into the concept of ‘digital twins’ and how the company is using tight data integrations to enhance customer experiences. He also gives a behind-the-scenes look at several moonshot ideas that the company is investing in, including a revolutionary technology that seeks to cure cancer.
As the first CDO at Etsy, Chu-Cheng Hsieh offers a unique perspective on helping build a data-driven organization from the ground up. Chu-Cheng shares how he’s fostered a culture of experimentation that has led to rapid growth and transformation within the company. He also dives into trends such as machine learning and data observability, and explains some of the most helpful mental frameworks he’s learned in his life and career.
Jay Riola, SVP of Strategy and Innovation for the Orlando Magic, and Charlie Shin, VP of Data Strategy and Analytics for the Indianapolis Colts share how they’re using data and analytics to enhance fan experiences. With perspectives from both the NBA and the NFL, Jay and Charlie explore the evolution of mobile ticketing, challenges with identity management, the importance of building fan trust, and the most surprising insights they’ve ever discovered within their data.
Iwao Fusillo, Chief Data and Analytics Officer at General Motors explains why domain expertise is not a precursor to a successful career in data and analytics, how to scale remote and hybrid teams, and how to implement a data literacy strategy within a legacy company.
On this episode of The Data Chief, top data and analytics executives from DataRobot, Databricks, and Google join Cindi to discuss trends shaping the future of analytics and provide bold predictions for the upcoming year.
Vijay Kotu is the SVP of Data and Analytics for ServiceNow, a company that is helping enterprises manage digital workflows. In this episode of the Data Chief, Vijay discusses how he is building a high-growth “mathematical enterprise” where frontline workers are empowered to make smarter business decisions with data and AI. He also speaks about the impact of ecosystems, the need for businesses to have a holistic view of their data in order to create positive outcomes, and why being intentional about analytics use cases is absolutely essential.
The data and analytics field is evolving rapidly. As is the role of the modern data and analytics leader. To keep pace with new trends, organizational best practices, and technologies, leaders need to make learning a priority, whether that’s reading or podcasting — or both!
Daniel Seymore, Head of Business Intelligence at South Africa-based financial services company, Investec, covers best practices for building successful teams, upskilling the next generation of IT professionals, and why domain experience is the prominent skill needed for all data and analytics leaders.
JoAnn Stonier, Chief Data Officer at Mastercard, explains data’s impact on people, how CDOs lay the groundwork for strategic innovation, and the progress that’s been made toward building responsible AI
Sol Rashidi, Chief Analytics Officer at Estée Lauder Companies, discusses the importance of understanding and learning from past failures, the need to take a product-centric approach, and why your product roadmap should be technology agnostic.
Ameet Shetty, Chief Data and Analytics Officer for Pilot Flying J, discusses the evolving role of the CDO leveraging data for customer experience analytics and how best to organize data and analytics talent.
Darren Pedroza, VP Enterprise Data and Analytics at First Command Financial Services, discusses the new role of the CDO, agile data management best practices, and how to lead teams through the deep, sometimes scary, waters of digital transformation.
Grant Parsamyan, Senior Vice President of Data and Analytics at OpenTable, discusses how the team is using data to capture a 360-degree view of the restaurant industry and why organization-wide data literacy is fundamental for success.
Brad Klingenberg, Chief Algorithms Officer at Daily Harvest, explains the importance of aligning customer wants with business value to create uniquely personalized experiences.
Ian Wong, co-founder and CTO of Opendoor, discusses how Opendoor uses data and machine learning to streamline the process of buying and selling your home, disrupting an entire industry.
Cindi Howson, Chief Data Strategy Officer at ThoughtSpot and host of The Data Chief, revisits key conversations and themes from season one.Cindi Howson, Chief Data Strategy Officer at ThoughtSpot and host of The Data Chief, revisits key conversations and themes from season one.
Verizon’s Radha Sankaran discusses creating a personalized 360 customer journey and shares strategies for empowering frontline employees with data. Plus, Radha tells us her advice for women and girls in tech.
After a year of facing the unexpected, what trends and technologies should data and analytics leaders expect to see more of in 2021? Hear from: Donald Farmer, Wayne Eckerson, and Tom Davenport.
Jim Tyo, CDO at Invesco and the former CDO at Nationwide, discusses the evolution of data governance and information quality over the past decade, the ethical nuances of navigating privacy laws, advice for people aspiring to pursue a career in data, and much more.
Suzette Kent, the former US Federal Chief Information Officer, discusses the federal data strategy and the differences – good and bad – between the public and private sectors.
Chad Hawkinson, Chief Product and Data Officer at Vertafore, discusses cloud security, the increasing role of data in insurance, and the dos and don’ts of analytics software adoption in the workplace.
Jason Lally, CDO of San Francisco, discusses making the government’s data work for the people it serves and the #1 key to better communication. [Hint: It’s storytelling.]
Jason Lally, the CDO for the City and County of San Francisco, discusses the kindness of data clarity, why open data is just the tip of the iceberg, and the power of a declarative mission statement.
Michelle Jacobs, Alight Analytics President and co-founder, discusses how to bring more women into analytics, why messy data tends to be directionally accurate, and what she predicts for the future of the industry.
Michelle Jacobs, Alight Analytics President and co-founder, discusses how data can empower marketers, tips for keeping up with the pace of change in technology, and more.