Data-vangelist helping companies derive value from data.
DATA sits at the heart of this tidal wave of new ways to work. Your every move, both physical and electronic, is recorded and used to guide your purchases, what you click on, and even how you vote. Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotic process automation (RPA) are being deployed across industries with the intent to help manage the overpowering amount of data that we are hoarding in our many data warehouses or in the countless databases on each personal computer. The data is being used intentionally and unintentionally to manage and often disrupt our lives.
Our privacy is at risk as is our very culture by the algorithms that we create, train, and deploy. My goal is to participate fully and ethically in this wave, to not be swept away by the latest “new” technology, and to help companies manage the change that is required as they learn to adapt and become adept at using data for making business decisions and for creating value.
What attracted you to data management or IT, and why did you choose to pursue this career?
As a marketer, I couldn’t do my job without good data on the customers and prospects I was trying to reach. I fell into the career of data management and governance because of this personal requirement.
What has been your greatest career accomplishment so far, and why has it been important to your career?
My greatest career accomplishment was developing a marketing database for IBM, Cisco, and VMware. Developing this data source and the processes for ensuring proper use are accomplishments that still make me smile and I have fond memories of working as a team with IT and the business units.
What are the two or three biggest challenges you face as a data management professional / CDO and how can we address them?
The biggest challenge that trumps all others is bringing groups together on a single purpose for the data and its use. The human element of cooperation is most important. This also brings with it the requirement to show a return on investment for the data projects that are budgeted. Together these two challenges are the largest.
How do you see data management / the role of the CDO / IT changing in the next 2 – 3 years?
Hopefully, the CDO role will become part of the strategy team for the business. After all, the CDO should have the best understanding of the contributions that can be made by data.
Do you have any planned next steps for your career?
I am adamant that we need to become evangelists for the power of data and its value to companies. I will spend the next part of my career helping companies determine that value and begin to treat data as an asset. I want to be a mentor to individuals who manage data and companies who depend on it.
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?
Don’t sweat the small stuff; it’s all small stuff. This piece of advice is important because you can really burn yourself out with the problems you face every day with data. This piece of advice always allows me to stop, take a breath, and consider options. That’s important.
Can you share something about yourself as a person that people wouldn’t know about you?
No. Don’t think there is anything that is shareable.
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