The first panel of the afternoon touched on a hot topic at the moment, the role of the Chief Data Officer (CDO). Andrew Delaney again moderated the panel, consisting of Rupert Brown of UBS, Patrick Dewald of Diaku, Colin Hall of Credit Suisse, Nigel Matthews of Barclays and Neill Vanlint of GoldenSource. Main points:
- Colin said that the need for the CDO role is that someone needs to sit at the top table who is both nerdy about data but also can communicate a vision for data to the CEO.
- Rupert said that role of CDO was still a bit nebulous covering data conformance, storage management, security and data opportunity (new functionality and profit). He suggested this role used to be called “Data Stewardship” and that the CDO tag is really a rename.
- Colin answered that the role did use to be a junior one, but regulation and the rate of industry change demands a CDO, a point contact for everyone when anything comes up that concerns data – previously nobody knew quite who to speak to on this topic.
- Patrick suggested that a CDO needs a long-term vision for data, since the role is not just an operational one.
- Nigel pointed out that the CDO needs to cover all kinds of data and mentioned recent initiatives like BCBS with their risk data aggregation paper.
- Neil said that he had seen the use of a CDO per business line at some of his clients.
- There was some conversation around the different types of CDO and the various carrots and sticks that can be employed. Neil made the audience laugh with his quote from a client that “If the stick doesn’t work, I have a five-foot carrot to hit them with!“
- Patrick said that CDO role is about business not just data.
- Colin picked up on what Patrick said and illustrated this with an example of legal contract data feeding directly into capital calculations.
- Nigel said that the CDO is a facilitator with all departments. He added that the monitoring tools from market data where needed in reference data
Overall good debate, and I guess if you were starting from scratch (if only we could!) you would have to think that the CDO is a key role given the finance industry is primarily built on the flow of data from one organisation to another.