(US and Canada) In this in-depth video interview, Katie Cassin, Business Unit Data Steward, and Zach Jenkins, AVP of HR Analytics at Navy Federal Credit Union, speak with Robert Lutton, Vice President at Sandhill Consultants and Editorial Board Vice Chair at CDO Magazine, about nation-building with data, the zero-trust principle, data governance challenges and strategies to overcome them, effective data management, and creating a firm organizational data foundation.
Cassin begins by stating that she is involved in "nation building" within Navy Federal and seeks to find the right people to solve any problem that arises. She uses this approach to stay connected to the diverse groups of people at the organization and to come up with new contacts that she can turn to for help.
In her role, she gets involved in various data-related dialogues and educates herself to make better decisions.
In addition, Cassin insists on taking best practices to another level regarding protecting their military members by balancing data accessibility and privacy. She indicates that her team follows a standard process of consulting with IT professionals from various areas to assess risk and protect sensitive information.
Following a zero-trust principle, her team is creative in aggregating information or using encryption to ensure meeting business needs while protecting member and employee rights.
Moving forward, Jenkins believes that data governance is challenging. He suggests that an individual needs an object-oriented programming mindset to conceptualize an abstract object with attributes passed down from other objects. He acknowledges that not everyone is equipped for this task and that understanding some of the concepts involved can be difficult.
Further, Jenkins praises Cassin for an excellent presentation when she used food and the grocery store analogy to illustrate metadata and how HR personnel can understand it better. He explains that metadata management and governance are about organizing, categorizing, and labeling the information.
Cassin suggests focusing on data initiatives that yield actionable information, stressing the importance of tying data to financial or efficiency initiatives. She maintains that as data-driven results pile up, more people become interested in partnering with the organization to reach success, creating a snowball effect. The goal is to facilitate revenue growth and efficiency with data, freeing up personnel and resources to provide better service, affirms Cassin.
Furthermore, Jenkins explains that their mission data initiative ensures the collection of all the necessary member information required for data scientists to pursue AI, machine learning, and other related operations. Without a firm foundation to utilize these technologies, the results of analytics will be unsatisfying, he reckons.
In continuation, Jenkins stresses the necessity of understanding the relationship between effective data management and desired outcomes to make optimal use of these emerging technologies. He mentions that AI and machine learning tools have become more available, providing simple and manager-friendly ways to apply them.
Jenkins however cautions that businesses will face challenges in keeping up with modern demands without the foundation of a secure and well-governed data infrastructure. In conclusion, he advocates the need for a firm organizational data foundation to stay relevant and capitalize on the potential of AI and machine learning.
CDO Magazine appreciates Katie Cassin and Zach Jenkins for sharing their insights and data success stories with our global community.
See more from Katie Cassin and Zach Jenkins