(US and Canada) John Thompson, Global Head, AI, and Rapid Data Lab, CSL Behring, speaks with Salema Rice, Global Data and Analytics Leader, Global Managing Director, Applied Intelligence, Accenture, and CDO Magazine Editorial Board Member, about the evolving role of a CDO and shares a piece of advice that changed his career.
Thompson says that the role of a Chief Data Officer or Chief Analytics Officer will continue to evolve rapidly. While most industries have been around for hundreds of years, the idea that data can be used as a strategic asset has been around for only 10 years.
He says that over the last four years at CSL, he has gone from being an evangelist and sowing the early seeds to reaping the benefits. Thompson says that today, there are a lot of people that would like to use AI to get things done.
He says the CDO and CDAO roles will progress in different directions. He explains that the CDO is in a defensive position, tending to the architecture, getting things ready, setting things up, and making things work for everybody. In contrast, Thompson sees the CAO (Chief Analytics Officer) as an offensive and proactive position. The CAO is about leveraging things to change work and business.
He says that organizations generally start with the CDO, and after a few years as the CDO evolves and grows, the organization adds a CAO.
Thompson concludes by sharing a piece of advice that changed his career path. He received it from a couple of colleagues while working at a bank. He was advised to quit and get a job in a tech organization because he loved tech and data.