Cross-Industry Data Execs Swap Strategies at First CDO Magazine Dallas Dinner

Cross-Industry Data Execs Swap Strategies at First CDO Magazine Dallas Dinner

CDO Magazine launched its Dallas community with senior data executives in industries ranging from financial services, healthcare and insurance to airlines and logistics at its Dallas Executive Boardroom Dinner on April 11. The leaders exchanged data and analytics strategies and enjoyed a panel discussion on “The Future of Data and Analytics: From Data Driven to Decision Centric.”

The expert panel speakers were:

  • France Grenot, Southwest Airlines Managing Director, Technology, Data Business Delivery

  • Zulfikar Sidi, Bank of America Managing Director, Data and Analytics, Retail, Preferred and Wealth Management

  • Latha Subramanian, GM Financial Senior Vice President, Global Head of Data Analytics

The discussion was moderated by Sam Ramachandran, Tiger Analytics Chief Sales Officer.

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Phanii Pydimarri, Health Care Services Corporation Head of Strategic Planning and Partnerships, outlines his key takeaways from the discussion:

  1. Data culture insights:

    • Identify and engage business evangelists who are open to change.

    • Implement creative "culture hacks" to engage business users in transforming data culture.

    • Foster innovation by providing controlled frameworks for self-service capabilities.

  2. Data-centric vs. Decision-centric approach:

    • Focus on deriving actionable insights from data analytics for offensive decision-making.

    • Start by quantifying business problems and defining clear problem statements.

    • Drive innovation through data to transition towards decision-centric organizations.

  3. GenAI and experimentation:

    • Experimentation with GenAI tools is underway in controlled environments.

    • Encourage business users to propose ideas and use cases with ongoing pilots.

    • Embrace GenAI while prioritizing governance to manage implications for customers.

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Speaker Grenot shares her perspective saying: “Great event launching the Dallas community for CDO Magazine. The discussion and panel were centered around data at the heart of company decisions, highlighting the need for a foundation, tools, and a governance model. The foundation and tooling is what will help us in automating decisions, and the governance influenced by privacy and security will help protect the enterprise.”

From her view as an expert panelist, Subramanian says, “We shared notes with the audience on the data-driven mindset and business outcomes leading to immense value creation. Overall, a great way to network and learn, and share industry best practices.”

For speaker Sidi, the event was a “great opportunity to meet like-minded industry data leaders sharing common interests and opportunities, while discussing the potential for emerging technology and data to power the next chapter of innovation.”

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Kishore Agasthi, HAVI Global Chief Data Officer, highlights how the panel member’s respective organizations are evolving towards more automated actions and decisions through analytics:  

  • Bank of America is using its banking app ERICA to help the end customers with notifications or actions.

  • SouthWest Airlines is engaged in data integration and in some cases, modernization to evolve towards decision sciences.

  • GM Financial is taking a comprehensive and strategic approach towards data strategy and governance to help with decision science.

“Each company talked about pockets of advanced analytics ML/AI models existing for core business functions, as well as legacy systems, data sprawl and other typical governance challenges. The panel also discussed GenAI and the approaches each company is taking in this area – from GenAI use cases and governance models to data privacy and security. They discussed the approach of eliminating or automating tasks in a process vs. eliminating jobs. People still have a role to play with higher level tasks,” Agasthi adds.

“It’s wonderful that CDO Magazine has started a community in Dallas,” says Karen Hiers, Northern Trust Chief Data and Analytics Officer - Enterprise. “We are all united on this voyage of championing data to new heights. Each organization is still on the journey despite the progress made over the last 10+ years. As technology advances (such as Gen AI), we all adapt and rise to the challenge of determining how we can effectively and safely utilize the new technology.” Hiers cites a key takeaway for her: “Zulfikar Sidi inspired individuals one by one to become data champions. This sparked a ripple effect as each person went on to empower others, igniting a chain reaction.”

Commenting on his experience, Sam Ramachandran, Tiger Analytics Chief Sales Officer, says, “It was great to moderate a panel discussion with a group of seasoned data leaders. The CDO Magazine team has been fantastic in building a data leadership ecosystem, and this event showcases the power of the strong community that CDO Magazine is building.”

Franklin Kessler, CDO Magazine SVP, Program Management adds his perspective, saying: “This evening marked the launch of the CDO Magazine data leaders community in Dallas. It's true that ‘everything is bigger in Texas’ by the caliber of organizations and data leaders in attendance. The collaboration and networking was amazing, and as a first-time group, they treated each other more like friends than acquaintances. An amazing evening all the way around.”

Special thanks goes to Tiger Analytics for their partnership in making the event a success.

*Phanii Pydimarri, France Grenot, Latha Subramanian, Kishore Agasthi, and Karen Hiers are members of the CDO Magazine Global Editorial Board.

Executives attending the CDO Magazine Dallas Executive Boardroom Dinner included:

Kishore Agasthi, HAVI Global Chief Data Officer; Jayant Dhamne, Signify Health Vice President; Jayadev Gopinath, DraftKings SVP, Data Engineering; France Grenot, Southwest Airlines Managing Director, Technology, Data Business Delivery; Karen Hiers, Northern Trust Corporation Chief Data & Analytics Officer, Enterprise; Livia Kessler, Bon Secours Mercy Health Head, Analytics Delivery; Narendra Kumar, Exeter Finance EVP, Chief Data Officer; Sanjeev Kumar, Gainwell Technologies VP, Product & Engineering; Farukh Lakhani, Essilor Group Sr. Director, Analytics & Operations; Lisa Novier, Truist Head, Data Management & Governance; Darren Pedroza, Western Alliance Bank Sr. Director, Head, Enterprise Data & Analytics; Phanii Pydimarri, Health Care Services Corporation Head, Strategic Planning & Partnerships; Gopal Ravi, Triumph Financial SVP, Data Analytics & Research; Priya Reddy, Reprise Financial VP, Enterprise Data Management; Adonis Salazar, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope Director, Business Analytics; Zulfikar Sidi, Bank of America Managing Director, Data & Analytics, Retail, Preferred & Wealth Management; Deep Sogani, Personify Health VP, Chief, Enterprise Data; Latha Subramanian, GM Financial SVP, Global Head, Data Analytics; Sam Ramachandran, Tiger Analytics Chief Sales Officer; Meenakshi Morla, Tiger Analytics Principal Data Scientist; Kishor Gummaraju, Tiger Analytics Chief Customer Officer; Kamlesh Singh, Tiger Analytics Regional Sales Head; Franklin Kessler, CDO Magazine SVP, Program Management; Steve Bangsund, CDO Magazine Sr. Director, Programs.

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