CDO | Director of Data | Information Technology Leader | Speaker | Mentor
Kim is in a leadership position where she is leveraging her experience and skills to make a positive difference in the field of Information Technology. She enjoys challenges and leading large initiatives that engage both business and technology resources to deliver results. She is energized by leading and mentoring others to achieve their goals and reach their potential while achieving business goals. She has a proven track record and a broad background of experiences in Information Technology such as data management, business service management, IT service management, SAP deployments, and leadership in all technology areas (infrastructure, application, data, process, and transformation).
What attracted you to data management or IT, and why did you choose to pursue this career?
Funny story…I set out to be a tailor. Even earned my high school’s home economic scholarship for this. When standing in line to register for my first college classes I realized that the earnings as a tailor were far from my expectations so I chose data processing which was another interest of mine. I had set up the first PC lab and taught the first programming classes at my high school.
Across my years in IT, I have always gravitated to the data management function as I feel that data management and quality data is the key to success. Now that most applications are available commercially, competitive advantage and better decision making comes from being skilled at creating, maintaining and understanding your quality data.
What has been your greatest career accomplishment so far, and why has it been important to your career?
I think my greatest career accomplishment regarding data management is that I have developed easy to follow frameworks/recipes for modernizing data platforms and deploying data governance. I have had the opportunity to apply these recipes at different companies of different sizes and different industries. It’s been important to my career as more of a personal achievement in being able to share the recipes with others and to get them up and running rapidly while teaching about the foundational pieces and components of data management.
What are the two or three biggest challenges you face as a data management professional / CDO and how can we address them?
- Data Sharing. Still, after all this time, warranted concerns with data sharing exist. These concerns usually stem from concern over the data quality, the data getting in the wrong hands or the data being misunderstood. A good data governance framework attends to these concerns but can’t eliminate them which is what drives the reluctance to share data.
- IT usually owns Data Management. I am convinced that the function is half business and half IT but it typically resides in the IT department. This drives a lot of focus on the technology side but not so much on the data literacy side. If in the situation that data management resides in IT, it is helpful to have a C-Suite that are data advocates and continually drive the importance of fact-based decision making which will set the culture to be so.
How do you see data management / the role of the CDO / IT changing in the next 2 – 3 years?
I am certain that the CDO population will continue to grow as history is already proving that. I wonder at times if the Data Management function will migrate more out of IT and become a more business focused function with IT being the enablers. I believe software tools will merge and morph to provide a more end-to-end process for all aspects of the management of the data lifecycle.
Do you have any planned next steps for your career?
Yes! More of the same but different! I am now a resident of the great state of Tennessee and will continue to deploy my data management recipes across the various departments of the state where they prove beneficial. The State of Tennessee employees are some of the best people I have ever worked with and all are focused on the same goal regardless of their role. This goal is serving the citizens of Tennessee. Oh, and also writing a book about The 8 Elements of Data Governance.
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?
Make yourself useful. Not so much career advice but advice for life. I heard this from my Dad daily until it just became who I am. Always be helpful. Always bring your best self to work. Make each day full of measurable progress. Make a positive difference.
Can you share something about yourself as a person that people wouldn’t know about you?
I have a lot of hobbies. Quilting, woodcarving, leaded glass, sewing, crocheting, renovating houses, reading, studying technology, breadmaking…the list goes on and on. 😊