Last week, I, along with two other members of the Experian team, took our talents to sunny San Diego to soak up some knowledge and spread some insight at the Enterprise Data World (EDW) conference. The conference was packed with some of the best and brightest representatives from organizations across the U.S. and around the globe.
We were all there to increase our understanding of the current state of data management, and how organizations can implement the right tools to ensure they have a data-driven business model. This focus on being data-driven was evident in the numerous sessions that were presented throughout the conference. In fact, our own Sean Coombs, head of market research, presented our study that focuses on the emergence of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) within organizations and the relationship this role has with the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and larger business.
During the conference I gained many valuable takeaways, but I wanted to focus on three that I saw as the most common across the many initiatives these organizations are working on.
- The emergence and importance of the CDO.
There were many presentations that focused on the rise of the CDO. It’s important to consider how this role is helping to reshape how organizations approach building a data management strategy. One of the main areas where they are making a significant impact is in terms of their relationship with the CIO. When an organization has a CDO, they are able to take some of the workload off the CIO to let them focus on other areas of the business. That’s why CIOs are largely in support of hiring for a CDO, because they can help take control of the data and make more informed strategic decisions based on data.
- Data governance initiatives are still top of mind.
When I attended the EDW conference last year, data governance was top of mind for many of the people I chatted with, and a year later, it was still one of the hottest topics at EDW. Most of the companies I spoke with are in all different stages of implementing a data governance system, however, across the board I saw a consistent bottom line regarding the process. From data analysts to VPs of Operations, and every position in between, individuals working in industries ranging from finance to retail all had the same message. Implementing a successful data governance program starts with having confidence in the quality of your organization’s data by making sure it is as accurate as possible. Starting the process with “dirty data” makes leveraging a successful data governance program almost impossible.
- Companies are going back to the basics.
We spent many hours at the Experian booth discussing the topic of data management with conference attendees and trying to understand the problems they face on a day-to-day basis to see if we could help them implement more efficient, more effective tools and processes. A majority of the people we spoke with were interested in our core contact data management products such as address, email and phone verification. Fixing the contact information your database is an easy process that is sometimes overlooked when organizations are trying to get larger projects off the ground. However, it is promising that from my conversations at EDW it seems many organizations were excited to chat about ensuring their contact data is accurate and up to date, so they can have the trust they need to leverage it for larger business initiatives.
The most difficult part of the conference was leaving the sunny San Diego to come back to the unpredictable New England spring, but luckily, it’s getting warm in Boston too! And as the conference shifts to Boston next year, I am excited to see what progress the organizations I spoke with have made on their initiatives and if Experian can help along the way!
Are you building a data management program from the ground up, but don’t know where to start? In our white paper, we break down the process into three, easy-to-remember steps.
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