(US & Canada) | All Good CDOs Are Very Collaborative People — Royal Bank of Canada CDO

Rex Davis, Chief Data Officer of Royal Bank of Canada, speaks with Rehan Jalil, President and CEO of Securiti, about measuring the effectiveness of teams, the need for collaboration across teams, addressing the needs of different stakeholders, and how data initiatives generate business value.

Speaking about his approach to measuring the effectiveness of his team Davis says that he particularly focuses on streamlining the time it takes to bring projects to fruition. He believes that long production timelines are not solely due to a lack of technical talent, but rather are often hindered by convoluted approval processes necessary for safety and compliance.

He acknowledges that establishing precedents for decision-making is crucial for ensuring consistency and efficiency, especially when dealing with novel challenges such as deploying code generated by non-human sources.

Standardizing these processes and establishing precedents for decision-making will be key to improving efficiency. Additionally, he recognizes the complexities introduced by utilizing models like LLMs, which are trained on vast datasets with opaque methodologies. This necessitates a shift in evaluation methods towards understanding and adapting to the unique challenges posed by these models.

Davis emphasizes the importance of collaboration across business units to balance the need for speed with considerations of security, governance, and regulation.

Sharing his learnings from collaborating, Davis advises that effective collaboration with various stakeholders involves acknowledging their perspectives while maintaining agility. He emphasizes that successful Chief Data Officers (CDOs) are inherently collaborative individuals. Merely acting as "data police" is ineffective and unsustainable. Instead, CDOs should focus on improving data practices to benefit the organization as a whole.

Davis stresses the importance of aligning with organizational goals, facilitating enablement, and driving value within the guardrails. He advocates for a transparent and honest approach, coupled with humor and empathy, to foster trust and cooperation. Centralized resources should be provided to support stakeholders' initiatives, with teams working together towards common goals.

Further, Davis underscores the need for openness and inclusivity, recognizing the value of stakeholders' for example, their insights on clients.

In conclusion, Davis highlights an initiative that impacted his organization. He mentions elevating the marketing mix models to a higher standard by leveraging new datasets. This step greatly enhanced the marketing team's understanding of the brand spend and its outcomes, resulting in a substantial impact. Davis further emphasized the importance of implementing such initiatives with the right data and timing, along with enthusiastic internal support, as a key factor in creating value within the organization.

CDO Magazine appreciates Rex Davis for sharing his insights with our global community.

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(US & Canada) | All Good CDOs Are Very Collaborative People — Royal Bank of Canada CDO

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