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Top Takeaways From CDO Sessions: Customers and Thought Leaders

By: Kunal Agarwal
Posted on: August 13, 2020
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We’ve been busy speaking to our customers and thought leaders in the industry and have rounded up the key takeaways from our latest CDO sessions. Here are some of the top takeaways and advice gained from these sessions with big data leaders, Kumar Menon from Equifax, Anheuser-Busch’s Harinder Singh, Sandeep Uttamchandani from Unravel, and DBS Bank’s Matteo Pelati:

1. DataOps is the end to end management and support of a data platform, data pipelines, data science models, and essentially the full lifecycle of consumption and production of information.

2.  You need to incorporate a multitude of different factors, such as compliance, cost, root cause analysis, tuning, and so on, early on so that DataOps is seamless and you can avoid surprises.

3. It is important to strike the right balance between governance and time to market. When you have to move fast, governance always slows down. And governance doesn’t just refer to the required regulation or compliance. It’s also just good data hygiene, maintaining the catalog, and maintaining the glossaries.

4. Building your company’s platform and services as a product can be extremely beneficial and pay you back after some time. You need time for the investment to return, but once you get to that stage, you’ll get your ROI.

Since for many companies, the pandemic has accelerated the movement to the Cloud, these big data leaders gave plenty of insights on Cloud migration:

1. Moving to the Cloud is a double edged sword. While it’s convenient when it’s time to market fast, you also have to be very careful about security in terms of how you manage, configure, and enforce it.

2. When you think about moving to the Cloud, it’s a highly non trivial process. On one side, you have your data and thousands of data sets, then on the other side, you have these active pipelines that run daily, dashboards, and ML models feeding into the product. You have to figure out the best sequence to move these.

3. When moving to the Cloud, you have to have a different philosophy when you’re building Cloud native applications versus when you’re building on-prem. You must improve the skill sets of your people to think more broadly.

4. A big challenge when moving to the cloud is accessing data. However, you can use encryption and tokenization of data at a large scale and expand the use throughout the entire data platform.

They also provided businesses with thoughtful, yet practical, advice on what they should be doing in order to not only stay afloat, but grow, during this COVID-19 pandemic:

1. Try to understand your internal business partners and customers’ needs. Everybody is in a unique situation right now, not just your company, so focus on your internal customers and what they need from you in terms of data analytics.

2. Consider changing the delivery model of your product or service and meet the customer where they are instead of expecting customers to come to you.

3. Make sure that you connect a lot more with your customers and your coworkers to keep the momentum going. This ecosystem, however, is not just your customers, but potentially your customers’ customers as well.

4. Focus on data literacy and explainable insights within your organization. Not everyone understands data the way you do, but data professionals have a unique opportunity here to really educate and build that literacy within their enterprise for better decision making.

5. Keep an eye out for how fast regulations are changing. It’s very likely that new data residency requirements, regulations, and privacy laws will emerge as a result of the pandemic, so make sure that the architecture you build today is adaptable and flexible in order to withstand the challenge of the time.

Matteo Pelati spoke on how DBS Bank has leveraged Unravel:

1. DBS has leveraged Unravel to analyze jobs, analyze previous runs of a job and block the promotion of a job if it doesn’t satisfy certain criteria.

2. Unravel has become really useful to understand the impact of users’ queries on the system and to let users understand the impacts of the operation that they’re orchestrating.

The above takeaways just scratch the surface of the insights that these CDO’s have to offer. As skilled and experienced big data leaders, they contribute valuable knowledge to the big data community. To hear more from them, you can watch the webinars or read the transcripts from our Getting Real with Data Analytics and Transforming DataOps in Banking sessions.