CDOs: Sparking innovations with big questions | #IBMCDO

Caitlin Lepech - IBM CDO Summit 2016

One of the biggest challenges faced in organizations is asking the right questions, both internally and to clients. Part of the role of the CDO is to empower employees, no matter where they are in the organization, to never be afraid to ask those crucial questions. The answers will then provide the information that will spark future innovations.

Caitlin Lepech, Communications and Client Engagement executive, IBM Chief Data Office, at IBM, joined Dave Vellante (@dvellante), cohost of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, during the IBM Chief Data Officer Strategy Summit, held at the Boston Copley Marriott in Boston, MA, to discuss changes to this year’s Summit format, as well as how she views the role of CDO.

Working toward an inclusive summit

Vellante asked about this year’s format for the Summit, and how things have changed.


Lepech said that based on feedback, IBM tried a new format this year that included peer-to-peer sharing, including attendees with different backgrounds; going right into deep-dive segments; exploring use-case stories; and how companies are implementing new initiatives,

“There was a concern around deep learning and AI, that we would exclude some CDOs,” Lepech said. “So, we have designed sessions that are inclusive. She said that no matter where companies are in their journey, the Summit is able to address their concerns.”

Governance vs. innovation

There was discussion regarding innovation on top of the data. And Lepech said there’s a recognition among CDOs that there’s a progression path from data analyst and governance to cognitive.

“Do you have an enterprise-wise view across your information, [and] can you trust that single view of the truth?” she asked. “How do you then start to transform to cognition and how to move that through your organization?”

Moving from opportunity pursuit to targeted strategy

Lepech also talked about how her team works in a partnership with the CDO role. “Let’s not start from what technology we have, but [rather from] what opportunity we’re chasing,” she said.

So the question becomes, instead, “What’s the monetization strategy of your company? … [and we’ll] design your data strategy to drive that. It’s an exciting new way to think of that.”

Watch 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