Data Advisory | Governance, Risk, & Data Science | Driving Business Outcomes from Data
We are in the midst of a major transition from an Information Technology-centric world to a Data-centric one.
Mr. Zaidi founded AlyData to advise organizations and their leaders on how they can leverage their most strategic asset – DATA – to gain deeper insights, optimize decisions, and mitigate risks, to drive shareholder value. We specialize in CDO Advisory, Data Science, and Data Management (i.e., Data Governance, Data Quality, Master Data Management, Data Privacy and Security, and Metadata Management). We are adept at driving highly complex, cross-organization initiatives that have direct P&L impact. Domain expertise in Financial Services and Federal Government with a strong focus on developing and innovating using data technologies.
What attracted you to data management or IT, and why did you choose to pursue this career?
I was fascinated by data and analytics while attending college. I completed a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and then decided to obtain a graduate degree in Computer Science to hone my programming and data skills.
What has been your greatest career accomplishment so far, and why has it been important to your career?
During the 2008 financial crash, I was asked to build a new application to enable Fannie Mae’s sellers and servicers to re-finance mortgages for 15 million homeowners that were under water and could potentially lose their homes. My team and I designed and built a brand-new solution that enabled our clients to send us their loan data electronically, underwrite it based on a new Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) guidelines, capture all the mortgage data and supporting documentation in a warehouse and generate daily reports and analytics to share with the Department of Treasury and the White House – since they wanted to monitor program KPIs and adjust rules/program policies accordingly.
What are the two or three biggest challenges you face as a data management professional / CDO and how can we address them?
The three biggest challenges I face are (1) Lack of awareness amongst business leaders on the value of data and analytics to their organizations. They tend to use gut-based decisions. (2) The complexity of gaining an end-to-end view of the data supply chain and implementing enterprise data management capabilities given the political, cultural, program management, and financial dimensions, and (3) Managing and implementing change to make organizations data-driven and evidence-based.
How do you see data management / the role of the CDO / IT changing in the next 2 – 3 years?
Data is a strategic asset, and every business is a “data business”. So, data, analytics, and A.I. are going to gain more importance in the next 2-3 years. This will require organizations to mature their data management, governance, and A.I. capabilities and upskill their associates in all things data.
Do you have any planned next steps for your career?
I plan to scale AlyData over the next 5 years with a focus on CDO Advisory, Data and A.I. Governance, and Data Science related advisory services.
What is the single best piece of advice you have received in your data management / IT career so far? Why has it been so important to you?
I was influenced by this quote –
“Some people watch things happen, some make things happen, and some wonder what happened.”
I always strive to be in the second group to “make things happen”.
Can you share something about yourself as a person that people wouldn’t know about you?
I live in a suburb of Washington DC, am an automobile enthusiast, like to travel, and authored two books on data-driven leadership in 2016 to help business leaders appreciate the value of data management and to become data-driven and evidence-based.
If you have any questions about this interview, or if we can be of any service, please do not hesitate to contact us [email protected]