Affiliated with:

Piyush Malik

Piyush Malik

Chief Digital Officer | Chief Transformation Officer | Entrepreneur | Engineer | Data Management | Analytics

Piyush Malik is a startup executive, entrepreneur, board advisor, and business and technology transformation leader in the domain of emerging technologies.  Through his engineering, product management and customer success experiences he has built worldwide teams and scaled his firms’ businesses many folds. 

Piyush has served Fortune 500 clients in over 40 countries spanning diverse industries over the past 3 decades as a management and technology consultant and executive.

Piyush has always been passionate about education and giving back over the years. From serving on school site councils for various California public schools to being appointed Technology Advisor to Fremont School District and University of California, Irvine. Professionally, he has been previously recognized with prestigious awards and recently received the lifetime achievement award NAAAP100 from National Association of Asian American Professionals for influential leadership and significant contributions to profession and the community at large.

Piyush champions servant leadership and has been active in community giveback initiatives spanning data management and data quality, engineering entrepreneurship, sustainability, diversity, equity, inclusion, and youth empowerment.

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

Coming from a family of engineers, I had no option!

I took up a telecom product management job straight out of engineering college and pivoted to software engineering and information technology after the first two years. While doing IT & application development and management for a few years, business intelligence and data warehousing was emerging as a hot field and once I got into it, data architecture, data quality, governance and data management became natural pieces of the puzzle that fit together in my career. I’ve been doing that for over 30 years now though in the past 10 years have focused on advanced analytics, data engineering,  cloud and applied AI/ML technologies.

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

While being able to establish new lines of business is thrilling, the first time I did it was in data quality and governance, and it was my first leadership experience in a big 4 management consulting environment. Scaling global BI practice from 400 to 5000 practitioners for IBM across several globally distributed delivery centers was most satisfying as it enabled me to connect with clients and staff across 4 continents. Greatest accomplishment so far is to have served on the board of nonprofits to help shape the industry as well as give back to the community at large.

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

As a CDO, the biggest challenge is to overcome organizational inertia and align stakeholders to value the potential of data through emerging use cases.

The challenge of data literacy and communicating commonality of purpose is high on the data management professional’s agenda

Third challenge is the age-old data veracity challenge which can fail the costliest of advanced features or AI/ML models if data foundation is not strong.

The way to overcome these challenges is to create a data driven culture that values quality over quantity. Simplify IT /data management function by defining data management and measurement frameworks clearly and following a well-structured communication plan along with getting formal and informal buy-ins from stakeholders at regular intervals.

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

CDOs will need to adapt rapidly to the changing challenges the socio-economic environment presents. CDOs need to be allies to CEOs and CROs so as to go from cost centers to becoming revenue centers going forward. With immense power of data and AI, I’ve had the privilege to see this firsthand already happening working with some leading clients and hoping this catches mainstream

Do you have any planned next steps for your career?

Spend more time mentoring and advising to create a cadre of smart data savvy technology workforce.

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 told early on by a mentor I respect till date “Always volunteer to give back to the community”. That naturally builds not only a professional network but also sharpens leadership skills more so when you don’t have direct authority over the people you are trying to influence. I have used this to create and nurture data management communities within my own organizations (PwC/IBM) with SIGs for BI, quality , governance , analytics etc. as also for nonprofit organizations like IAIDQ/IQ international.

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

I’m an introvert who wanted to be a farmer at age 5 as well as a scientist at age 10 before falling in line with family occupation of becoming an engineer at age 20. I’m hoping one day I’ll combine those childhood aspirations into something meaningful one day!

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