Chief Data Officer Summit 2014 – Day 1 Highlights

Highlights from the presentations by Data Governance experts from State of Colorado, IBM, Informatica and Sony Pictures Entertainment on day 1 of Chief Data Officer Summit 2014 in San Francisco, CA.

The role and importance of Chief Data Officer has been increasingly gaining attention across industries. Data is being viewed as the most competitive tool that organizations have in order to maintain relevance and growth in today’s complex environment. While the CDO office holds enormous potential, it is currently faced with a wide variety of issues around data integration, ROI, data quality, etc.

IE Chief Data Officer Summit 2014The Chief Data Officer Summit (May 22-23, 2014) organized by the Innovation Enterprise at San Francisco, CA covered the above topics through insightful talks from leading experts across various domains. Along with a deep dive into the role of the Chief Data Officer, the summit covered innovation, data management and data governance. Through real-life business case studies and discussions on major issues, the summit offered solutions and insight from the CDOs and other business leaders.

Despite the great quality of content as well as speakers, it is hard to grasp all the information during the summit itself. KDnuggets helps you by summarizing the key insights from all the sessions at the summit. These concise, takeaway-oriented summaries are designed for both – people who attended the summit but would like to re-visit the key sessions for a deeper understanding and people who could not attend the summit. As you go through it, for any session that you find interesting, check KDnuggets as we would soon publish exclusive interviews with some of these speakers.

Here are highlights from selected talks on day 1 (Thu, May 22):

Dianna Anderson Dianna Anderson, Chief Data Officer, State of Colorado shared her experience of shift from a private sector DW/BI role to data management of several state agencies at Colorado. She started her talk titled "The Chief Data Officer Role - Knowledge Means Change" with a story about why it is important to share information. She described how different aspects of citizens' lives have varied needs across time and to fulfill those needs they interact with a wide range of state agencies. This results in citizens data being captured in varying form and sizes across different agencies using different computer systems. It is only by sharing and integrating data that we can correlate information to generate insights, leading to impact through informed decisions. She illustrated the key differences between traditional data warehouse and Big Data analytics, while referring to the latter as IDI(Intelligent Data Insights) platform.

In conclusion, she emphasized that in data warehouse oriented systems you find data to support whatever you believe, on the contrary Big Data analytics enables you to know what you do not know.

AbercrombieCortnie Abercrombie, Emerging Roles Leader, IBM gave an interesting talk on "Three Keys to Building Success and Traction with your CEO and C-Suite Peers". Quoting an IBM study, she mentioned that over the next 3 to 5 years, 66% CEOs are focusing on higher business value, whereas 23% are focusing on efficiency and cost reduction. About one-fourth of CEOs believe that their C-suite do not understand customer and market changes. In terms of influence on CEO's strategic vision and business strategy, the customer is just second to the C-suite. CMOs need CDOs help to finally activate their digital strategies; especially on social media analytics and advanced analytics.

She recommended the "Start Small. Scale Fast" approach to generate traction for Big Data initiatives through the following three key activities (based on the findings from IBM Institute for Business Value C-suite studies):
  1. Prioritizing initiatives for highest impact
  2. Generating traction through small successes
  3. Creating data strategy that garners impact now and builds toward the future

Todd GoldmanTodd Goldman, Vice President, Enterprise Data Integration, Informatica Corporation talked on "Great Data by Design - Great Data Isn’t An Accident; And You Know It!" While we are witnessing a sharp rise in the volume, velocity and variety of data, there are huge challenges posed by data fragmentation and data quality. This trend has been driven by the desire of individual business unit to build their own custom analytics applications(with marginal attention to the enterprise IT strategy or architecture). Traditionally, the winning strategy has been: identify the critical business function; invest in competency and efficiency for core applications & processes around the critical business function; and winning through a harmony of focused alignment of people, process and technology.

However, in today's world, business hardly have a single critical business function, rather it is an interconnection of a few business functions that is deemed critical. Moreover, this critical business function needs to be integrated to even more business applications at enterprise level as well as business unit level. This implies that solving tough business problems depends on data from more than one system. Thus, business agility depends on data integration ability. Emphasizing on the need for "Great Data by Design", he mentioned that 80% of the work in Big Data projects is data integration and data quality. He concluded explaining the Data Governance Maturity Model Assessment (available at and how the industry can benefit from Informatica solutions.

JR YasgurJR Yasgur, Senior Vice President Global Data Strategy & Operations , Sony Pictures Entertainment delivered an insightful talk on analytics in Media & Entertainment (M&E) industry titled "Maximizing the organization: turning data into a competitive advantage". Business models, content strategies, and company definitions are changing rapidly. Traditionally, the media & entertainment firms have been offering siloed, static, and unidirectional consumption experiences across different media such as theatrical, television and home entertainment. However, with the increasing proliferation of devices and media platforms, today we are witnessing focus on new immersive consumer experience delivered in a connected fashion across various platforms. M&E industry needs include data creation & consumption capabilities throughout the content life-cycle, and data availability for all business workflows (such as pre-production, product development, fulfillment, finance, legal, etc.).

The underlying data has varying levels of complexity ranging from structured master data (such as global unique media identification, party-to-party relationship management, etc.) to unstructured social media & consumer data (such as user reviews, user-generated content, crowd-sourced metadata, etc.). Entities must pursue three axes of change to successfully cultivate a data-driven culture: technology, process, & organization. She concluded saying that multifaceted transformation is required to obtain the Holy grail of competitive advantages & optimal positioning for future growth.

Day 2 highlights