Data Consulting and Advisory MEA
With over 20 years’ experience, Jose Almeida’s Data Management career has focused mainly in the areas of data governance, data quality, master data management, ETL, data migration and data integration, with experience in worldwide projects in Europe, Middle East, and Africa across a wide range of realities and different clients and industries, enabling organizations across the world to proactively manage their data asset and to address their challenges and gain more value from their data, focusing on providing solutions through the usage of best-of-breed technologies and methodologies.
What attracted you to data management or IT, and why did you choose to pursue this career?
It has been a compound of experiences. I began as an application developer and then had the opportunity to work on a few data quality projects, that experience opened a new perspective on what data can produce. Since then, I have broadened my experience to other areas such as ETL, data migration, integration, master data management and data governance, added to the possibility to work in multiple industries on three different continents.
What has been your greatest career accomplishment so far, and why has it been important to your career?
I always believe that the greatest accomplishment is yet to come, that keeps me focused. What I do have is a large collection of experiences that have shaped my career and life.
What are the two or three biggest challenges you face as a data management professional / CDO and how can we address them?
There is a crescent need to bridge the distance between data and business, to remove the barriers that prevent true business value being created.
I usually point to 3 major gaps that need to be addressed:
#1 – ROI gap – Even with increasing investments in data solutions, frequently the results fall short on the objectives where organizations accept to live with expensive failures. Seen throughout the organization as IT vanity projects.
#2 – Expectation gap – There is more and more data being accumulated across, always with the perception that more data can be collected, and with it the capability to harness the enormous potential that can be derived from it. Truth is, the more data is collected, the harder it is to analyze it and derive useful insights to feed business decision processes, leading to a decreasing quality of analysis and insights.
#3 – Trust Gap – There are still exceptionally low levels of trust, both on data and on the insights derived from data, with decisions being made ignoring the available data or based on gut feelings.
These are serious structural problems on the usage and handling of data for corporate decision processes that can only be addressed with a structured and focused approach from the data management side.
How do you see data management / the role of the CDO / IT changing in the next 2 – 3 years?
The greatest change that needs to occur is that IT must step back and allow business to drive data initiatives. These are the people who know what the business problems are, its needs, and objectives.
Giving the control to the business, while solves some of the challenges usually associated with these processes, as lack of cross organization involvement or resistance to change.
Failing to support data initiatives on strong business cases, anchored on clear business objectives, transforms data initiatives into technological initiatives, often seen as just another siloed IT project with no perceived value from the business side.
Do you have any planned next steps for your career?
The next steps are always dependent on context and opportunities. I choose to build up on a mission perspective, keeping focus on what I want to achieve, and working consistently towards those objectives. There is no single paths and each of the paths that we take always open incredible new possibilities.
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?
Share. This has been fundamental not just in my work but also in my personal life. Trying to make everything a collaborative experience and being able to help even when there’s no visible, short-term return, always pays.
Can you share something about yourself as a person that people wouldn’t know about you?
I am a late starter in Karate. I started practicing when I was almost 40, and that taught me, besides this wonderful art, one critical lesson: there are no late starts.
If you have any questions about this interview, or if we can be of any service, please do not hesitate to contact us firstname.lastname@example.org