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Wells Fargo CDO Charles Thomas Talks Data & Diplomacy
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Nikhil Datar
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Nikhil Datar,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/10/2014 | 9:50:20 AM
Knowing Whats Right is ethics and intellectual creativity rolled into one
Completely agree with Charles's approach. The value is in connecting the dots across events and data sets. It does need a creative mind coupled with the power of science and result orientation to drive this change.

At the end of the day, business ethics and intellectual creativity lies in having the wisdom to know what's the right thing to do with a customer, and it simply doesnt have to be which next product to sell. A lot of businesses have a need to institutionalize this thinking and build capacity to "connect the dots".  

 

Here is a link to an article I wrote recently to highlight this through an example  https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140612204055-9214346-making-business-performance-predictable-lessons-from-locating-the-most-elusive-leopards-in-the-wild?trk=prof-post

Nikhil Datar   
Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Author
7/10/2014 | 9:34:52 AM
Re: Diplomacy
Good point Chris, as he noted, being a chief data officer these days is much more than just having the technical know-how.
Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Author
7/10/2014 | 9:33:47 AM
Re: Chain of command
Hi Beth, I actually do not know if that was the same chain of command at USAA, but good question though. I guess it varies by institution.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/10/2014 | 9:22:00 AM
Re: Diplomacy
It's interesting how important he sees evangelizing the power of data in this role. I would've thought the role is more in the realms of brokering, securing, assuring access and accuracy as business units clamor for access to new data sources. An important reminder that IT leaders can't take it for granted that companies will put the right value on data. 
BethSchultz
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BethSchultz,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/10/2014 | 8:49:41 AM
Chain of command
Bryan, this is an interesting chain of command at Wells Fargo -- with the CDO reporting into the CIO rather than the CEO. Do you know if this had been the structure at USAA, as well? (This isn't to say that it's a bad thing... just that I've seen other instances where CDO/CAO has the direct line to the CEO.)

 
Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Author
7/10/2014 | 7:01:10 AM
Diplomacy
It does seem that the Chief Data Officer could (or should?) be called the Chief Diplomacy officer. The CDO needs to interact with business users across the bank. Many of these users have completely different views on what what can and should be done with data.

CDOs across the industry are being called upon to do more than ever before and to respond to requests from groups or business units who never before requested access to various datasets.
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