Inside the CDO role: Data as art; governance as insight | #IBMCDO

9.23.16 Nigam and Ahmadi

“Practitioner of data art” may not be the first words that come to mind when hearing the title “data architect,” but that is the way some enterprises are starting to see it. To some, it’s rapidly becoming clear that a creative mind is necessary to do well in this field.

“You always have to look at the data and see how can you use the same data to drive new things in an enterprise,” said Mojgan Ahmadi, VP of Data Architecture, Database at People’s Bank. And to do that you have to keep your eye on a wide range of data across an organization, including –in her experience — how the data from acquisitions of other banks matches and merges with People’s Bank’s existing data.

Ahmadi was joined by Somesh Nigam, VP, CDO of Information and Data Governance and Healthcare Informatics at IBM, in an interview with Dave Vellante (@dvellante) and Stu Miniman (@stu), hosts of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team. The interview took place at the IBM Chief Data Officer Strategy Summit in Boston, MA.

Re-thinking regulation

But there’s a flip side to the creative aspects of the work. “Regulatory requirements have always been a focus and part of my job,” said Ahmadi. A large part of governance is determining what data is important and what is simply noise. By first defining what important means to the organization in relation to data, you can then build a framework that will in turn help to develop a strategy for collecting the important data, she explained.

While many people view regulations as a hurdle, Nigam disagrees. “One of the messages I want to give across our enterprise is that governance is not scary… [it’s] something that allows you great insight,” he said. He added that part of his job is creating awareness of how helpful it is and developing an enterprise-wide network.

During the interview, Nigam discussed other ways governance can help, from securing privacy to preventing diabetes and treating cancer. Nigam summarized it all as a “thoughtful use of data in private, respective manner.”

Stay tuned for the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of the IBM Chief Data Officer Strategy Summit.

Photo by SiliconANGLE