(US & Canada) | CDOs Need to Be in Control of Their Company's Data — Securiti CDO

Jack Berkowitz, Chief Data Officer of Securiti, speaks with Robert Lutton, VP-Sandhill Consultant and Editorial Board Vice Chair at CDO Magazine, in a video interview about the CDO role today, success stories with unstructured data, challenges in models harnessing unstructured data, data governance strategies for clients, the data command center, and the evolving role of the CDO.

Securiti is the pioneer of the Data Command Center, a centralized platform that enables the safe use of data and GenAI. It provides unified data intelligence, controls, and orchestration across hybrid multi-cloud environments.

The CDO role today is an amalgamation of technology and regulation, unlike in the past, when everyone was legally oriented, says Berkowitz. Also, companies are looking at the CDO role as a business advantage, he adds.

When asked about success stories of clients’ utilization of unstructured data, Berkowitz reflects on the unstructured data management systems available 25 years ago. While the issues persist, the advantages are also evident, he notes.

Adding on, Berkowitz states that people stopped using them because of their heavy weight. However, with generative AI, they can be used for retrieval, augmented generation, training models, or document summarization while ensuring the right data is used.

Further, Berkowitz refers to how Jeff McMillan at Morgan Stanley improved wealth managers’ experiences by tapping the unstructured data through OpenAI. After generating the summary, the wealth managers knew what was going on in the account.

To start building such use cases that help people move forward, Berkowitz stresses investing in and understanding the content, its version, and its reliability.

When asked to shed light on the challenges in harnessing unstructured data, he lists three big ones:

  1. Finding where the data resides

  2. Structuring it along with data governance

  3. Protecting the data

In continuation, Berkowitz states that Securiti helps its clients overcome the challenges by detecting models being used, figuring out where data is, and identifying critical information. Additionally, it helps with document summarization, and it is working on building pipelines for data flow and then putting firewalls around to protect information.

Recommending data governance strategies for clients, Berkowitz urges them to recognize the need to engage the businesses and teams where they exist. It is crucial for the system to be able to reach the team wherever they are for approval, he adds.

For instance, if the business user generates content, the data team must recognize that it is different from structured data. This, according to Berkowitz, is a documentation challenge that needs to be addressed while creating data governance strategies.

Secondly, the data must be scanned continually to keep it fresh because the contents and regulations keep changing. Clients, therefore, need to have a cohesive view of everything attached to the regulations and policies. The reality, says Berkowitz, is that most future applications will be a blend of unstructured content and structured information.

Moving forward, Berkowitz advises fellow CDOs to start with use cases that are easily understandable to effectively leverage unstructured data. Instead of making billion-dollar changes, he urges CDOs to start building systems.

The use cases could be assistance to the customer service team or document summarization for legal or HR purposes, according to Berkowitz. He affirms that all the use cases start building on each other over time and become interconnected.

Highlighting the data command center, Berkowitz describes it as a platform that unifies the concerns of CDOs, CISOs, CEOs, CIOs, and CPOs alike. The communication across the company is built as a command graph of all the information.

Berkowitz believes that the data command center allows anyone using the system to be an effective business leader. He continues that there are customers analyzing unstructured data through the system to identify redundant data.

Furthermore, people are using it to protect embedded information before mailing it out, while others use it to comprehend breach issues. He adds that great capabilities are arising out of unstructured data and discusses the use of AI models within systems to ensure appropriate usage within company guidelines.

Delving further, Berkowitz states that the data command center can create dynamic people graphs. For example, if a data subject rights request is made, one can not only derive it from the structured data but also remove the unstructured data. In the end, a CDO needs to be in control of the company's data, as every company is a data business today, he adds.

Then, Berkowitz suggests CDOs understand their role value and think about themselves as business leaders first, who are responsible for one of the key organizational aspects.

Concluding, Berkowitz states that the CDO role is not a departmental responsibility and will sit with business executives, helping them operate businesses effectively. He says that technology is here to stay, and the advantage of the role is being with executives and driving the business forward with data.

CDO Magazine appreciates Jack Berkowitz for sharing his invaluable insights with our global community.

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