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Kenneth Viciana

Kenneth Viciana

Data & Analytics Leader | Cyber-Analytics, Metrics, and Reporting | Information Risk Management

Kenneth Viciana is recognized globally as an innovative data & analytics leader. A hybrid business and IT executive, Kenneth has successfully developed/mobilized strategies, capabilities, and programs that help companies leverage and harness the power of actionable data to enable business outcomes.

Kenneth Viciana is currently the Director of Information Risk Management at Fiserv. He is currently responsible for developing cyber analytics, metrics, and reporting capabilities that provide actionable insights. This program helps quantify/manage/mitigate risk and allows Fiserv to make informed/data-driven decisions. Ken is also leading Information governance efforts focused on developing organizational standards/consistency. This program coordinates the people, processes, and technology, allowing Fiserv to leverage information as a corporate asset.

What attracted you to data management or IT, and why did you choose to pursue this career?

I graduated from Bentley University with a degree in Finance, and my first job out of school was at Fidelity Investments. My initial focus was 401K Plan administration which was not specifically a Data Management role. After a few years in Retirement Services, I really wanted exposure to the Investment Management process (FMR CO). At this time Fidelity was building a data management team to support this process, and to ensure the data being used to drive business activities was of high quality (fit for use). I secured this role and sat directly on the Fidelity Trading Floor with Portfolio Managers/Traders/Risk Managers which was extremely exciting! This position was really the start of my data management journey. I was managing reference data, implementing data quality controls, and developing BI Reporting capabilities. It really brought to light the importance of having good/high quality information, and I became passionate about helping companies to harness the power of actionable data to enable business outcomes.

What has been your greatest career accomplishment so far, and why has it been important to your career?

In having 20+ years of experience in Data Management, I have been lucky to have worked on several different/high profile initiatives at Fortune 500 Companies. I grew up in the data warehousing space building data infrastructures, developing BI Reporting capabilities, and mobilizing Data Governance programs. I then led Big Data efforts helping companies monetize data! I developed Data Strategies focused on using data to solve business challenges. I also have worked in Cyber Security, helping companies manage/measure/and quantity risk.

In thinking about my greatest career accomplishments, two things come to mind immediately!

1- The people and teams I have had the pleasure of working with to drive data management initiatives. I have built a solid network of peers (many of which have become good friends), and I am genuinely proud of the work that we have completed.

2- The business impact of the work delivered, specifically I am proud of the Enterprise Value created! In my work, I always take the time to associate the data management work with how it is enabling key business activities. Further, I have focused on quantifying the impact of the work. This can come in the form of generating corporate revenue or mitigating risk (providing cost savings).

What are the two or three biggest challenges you face as a data management professional / CDO and how can we address them?

Below are the Top 3 Challenges CDOs currently face, along with some thoughts on how to address them.

1- Executive Support- Companies often hire CDOs (and other Data Leaders without the CDO Title) as they understand it is important to have good data to drive business initiatives. Often the real goal is driving business value via the development of advanced analytics, but to accomplish this lots of foundational data management is required. The CDO understands the importance of the data management work but is pressured to quickly show business value. My approach to this challenge is showing value in incremental chunks as you progress forward.

2- Data Governance- The coordination of people, process, and technology enables companies to harness the power of actionable intelligence! Unfortunately, implementing data governance can be challenging as all companies operate differently. Ownership/Accountability is a frequent issue in building successful programs, so be sure to spend time with these assignments and make sure all is documented/communicated.

3- The Shiny Objects- The technology landscape is moving very quickly, and companies want to ensure they are leveraging the latest and greatest tools/technologies. I encourage data management leaders to stay current on the current solutions available, but do not constantly be chasing the shiny objects. What I mean by this is you do not need to be the first one buying/implementing the latest solutions.

How do you see data management / the role of the CDO / IT changing in the next 2 – 3 years?

The Data Management Landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace. In the next 2-3 years, I believe we will see new technologies emerge that will help expedite development efforts. Self-service data tools/catalogues will become more commonplace at companies, with resources not needing coding skills to extract information. I think the CDO role will become even more business focused and will be saddled with increased revenue targets. This will result in the CDO driving more corporate innovation!

Do you have any planned next steps for your career?

Near term I plan to stay the course continuing to live, learn, and grow! Down the road I would really like a Greenfield CDO opportunity where I can build out a best-in-class data management program from scratch.

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?

Culture is really the key to success! As you work, be sure to build and maintain good relationships. Get to know people, and always treat them as you would want to be treated. Also remember to have fun and to enjoy the ride………….

Can you share something about yourself as a person that people wouldn’t know about you?

I am the chairman of the Technology Associate of Georgia (TAG) Data Governance Society, and we hold events that bring together the Atlanta Data Community. Our events provide valuable content and collaboration/networking opportunities with industry peers. The Pandemic was rather difficult having to go fully virtual, but I am excited to begin live events in July, 2021.

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