Reflections from the CDO Summit 2016-NYC

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Reflections from the CDO Summit 2016-NYC

Posted by Irene Polikoff on January 4, 2017

We valued and enjoyed our discussions with several chief data officers and other data governance professionals at the CDO Summit 2016, NYC in December – so navigating the inevitable holiday crowds in Manhattan proved to be worth it. These conversations were enlightening and validated our understanding of what the industry needs in order to move forward with successful data governance implementations.

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During our long history of working with standards-based technology, we have collaborated with data professionals serving in many roles, including the CIO.  This has often put us on the “back-end” of projects with customers in financial services, life sciences, healthcare, government and other sectors where the processes and practices that mark the emergence and importance of data governance were not well developed or even present.

With the growing emphasis on the central role and value of data and the rise of the CDO role, this has started to change. The CDO Summit provided an opportunity to discuss the challenges facing CDOs and to explain why standards-based data governance is key to expressing informative metadata that maps and connects data silos in order to provide seamless access to information for reporting, analytics and other core business use cases.  CDOs typically serve on the bridge between business and IT. The summit let us engage in rich conversations with less technical and more business-focused stakeholders about why and how a standards-based approach delivers better connections between silos of data.

At many of the technical conferences we participate in, we spend a lot of time discussing technical details of the open standards from the W3C (such as RDF) for managing information on the web. These standards are extremely important to how TopBraid products are built to complement and integrate with other information systems and technologies and let businesses gain actionable insight into their data.  For example, we work with several large financial institutions that choose our solutions because they believe that in complex heterogeneous environments data must be managed using an extensible, open and connected approach. Most other proprietary tools are not built on these open standards.

In a recent blog that explored what is important in supporting data governance, we noted the strategic importance of a standards based, semantic approach:

“Since data governance initiatives deliver increased value over time, it is important to invest in a technology which adapts quickly to this ever changing landscape of data sources.  The choice of the right technical platform is critical for future proofing the data governance initiatives of an organization. A semantic approach to information management and data governance makes it easier to reconcile and standardize the data in a single, organized system.”

We often receive questions regarding our product TopBraid Enterprise Data Governance (EDG) and how it relates to other data governance solutions. We heard this question at the CDO Summit as well. In the words of the solution architect at one of our larger financial services clients:

“If you work in a simple homogeneous environment, then the approach of 'try to fit everything into one tool' may work well. Otherwise, you need to have more of a networked approach, TopBraid EDG was designed with this goal in mind.”

This particular customer uses Collibra for business glossaries and several other products for different aspects of data management.  TopBraid EDG with its standards-based, open and extensible approach makes it easy to integrate glossary terms with other governance assets and to cover the entire spectrum of customer requirements, for instance to establish connections between applications and data sources to support data lineage tracking.

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