CDOs and other data leaders faced significant pressure this year. From increased pressure to find a balance between defensive and offensive data strategies to finding new and innovative ways to transform data governance into business value, to cultivating data literacy across the organization, data leaders saw their role evolve in ways we couldn’t have anticipated pre-pandemic.
Data leaders were challenged to grow as business leaders, strategic thinkers, and people leaders—and boy, did you deliver!
We collected our favourite, most impactful quotes from CDOs and other data-driven leaders this year to get you excited for the new year and new challenges ahead—and maybe even change the way you look at your role as a data leader.
Here are the 10 most powerful quotes from CDOs and other data leaders this year that will inspire you in 2022.
On the evolving role of the CDO within the organization:
“I see my job as, on behalf of the business, making sure their data is easy to find and ready to use.” – Cathy Doss, Chief Data Officer at Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Women Data Leaders’ Global Summit
“I feel strongly that what we do is elevated to a business contributor and business enabler… but also being the driver behind the transformative efforts that can drive entirely different business models.” Gina Papush, Global Chief Data & Analytics Officer at Evernorth, Women Data Leaders’ Global Summit
“I report directly to the CEO, which was one of my requirements for taking the job. I find that it demonstrates an organization’s commitment to data and analytics. It should be important for every CDO to ensure that they can influence the strategy.” – Mike Hernandez, Chief Data Officer at Texas Mutual, CDO Magazine
‘[Culture] is one of the most important factors to being successful in data. One of the key items to transforming the culture is being a change agent and being that trusted partner. You’ve got to listen, you have to understand where the challenges are from a business perspective. When you think about the level of influence that you need to have across every level of an organization in order to focus in the right direction—we can’t underscore the importance of ‘soft skills’ that go along with a data leadership role… you have to be able to engage, empower, and influence others around the organization.” Beth Hiatt, Head of Global Data Governance at Paypal, Women Data Leader’s Global Summit
Listen to the Data-Driven Leaders podcast for more insights from leaders who are transforming the data and analytics landscape
On leveraging modern project methodologies to deliver value:
“The agile methodology is a very clear and necessary way of working to make sure that data science is in clear alignment not only with business priorities but is also adaptable to the changing business environment.” – Kjersten Moody, CDO at Prudential, CDO Magazine
On bridging the gap between business and technology teams:
“A lot of times in technology we’re heads down, behind the scenes making stuff happen, and sometimes it’s very technical and not focused on business value delivery.
My personal evolution in that area was when I was able to make that connection between the work we do every day and link that to our core business strategy.
Once you’re able to make that connection, you’re able to prioritize value work back to the business, you can sit at the table as a partner with lines of business on strategy to determine what’s next.” – Donnie Slavens, Sr. Director, IT Infrastructure & Architecture at First Financial Bank, CDO Magazine
Learn more about the agile methodology in You’re (Probably) Doing Data Transformation Projects All Wrong and How To Have a Data-Driven Product Development Mindset
On building a thriving data and analytics team and encouraging data literacy across the organization:
“Hold on to your team. If you’ve got a great squad, hold on to them. Build up their ability to test and learn.” – Alicia Samuel, SVP of Technology at Holt Renfrew, Data-Driven Leaders podcast
“Data literacy is a key baseline skill for everyone. We’re finding that data and analytic skills are necessary for nearly every job. Every single part of our organization uses data in different ways, and we have to train everyone to think through how they’re using data.” – JoAnn Stonier, CDO at Mastercard, Women Data Leader’s Global Summit
And finally, two forward-looking quotes that will inspire you to think and act big in 2022:
“How lucky we are to be operating in this exciting time!
In the 21st century… we are operating in an ever-changing data landscape. New data sources are emerging all the time, and advanced technologies are proving the capability to discover, access, utilize, and analyze data in ways never before possible…
We’re unlocking the data from the siloes, we’re making visible what has historically been invisible… We have to tell the stories.” – Barbara Cohn, CDO at Colorado Department of Transportation and Senior Consultant at Xentity Corp, Women Global Data Leader’s Summit
“Take on a really big challenge. Take on the biggest challenge you can find. Yes, you need resources. Yes, you need backing. Yes, you need funding. But take on that big challenge… Go for it. Take the risk. The benefits are so much greater, and so much sweeter for the company.” – Diane Schmidt, Head, Enterprise Data Governance at LSEG, CDO Magazine