erwin Expert Blog Data Governance

Top Data Management Trends for Chief Data Officers (CDOs)

Chief Data Officer (CDOs) 2021 Study

The role of chief data officer (CDO) is becoming essential at forward-thinking organizations — especially those in financial services — according to “The Evolving Role of the CDO at Financial Organizations: 2021 Chief Data Officer (CDO) Study” just released by FIMA and sponsored by erwin.

The e-guide takes a deep dive into the evolving role of CDOs at financial organizations, tapping into the minds of 100+ financial global financial leaders and C-suite executives to look at the latest trends and provide a roadmap for developing an offensive data management strategy.

Data Governance Is Not Just About Compliance

Interestingly, the report found that 45% of respondents say compliance is now handled so well that it is no longer the top driver for data governance, while 38% say they have fully realized a “governance 2.0” model in which the majority of their compliance concerns are fully automated.”

Chief data officers and other data professionals have taken significant steps toward a data governance model that doesn’t just safeguard data but also drives business improvements.

erwin also found this to be the case as revealed in our 2020 “State of Data Governance and Automation” report.

However, while compliance is no longer the top driver of data governance, it still requires a significant investment. According to the CDO report, 88% of organizations devote 40% or more of their data practice’s operating budget to compliance activities.

COVID’s Impact on Data Management

FIMA also looked at 2020 and the pandemic’s impact on data management.

Some financial organizations that were approaching a significant level of data management maturity had to put their initiatives on hold to address more immediate issues. But it led some sectors to innovate, moving processes that were once manual to the digital realm.

The research team asked respondents to describe how their data practices were impacted by the need to adapt to changes in the work environment created by COVID-19. “Overall, most respondents said they avoided any catastrophic impact on their data operations. Most of these respondents note the fact that they had been updating their tools and programs ahead of time to prepare for such risks, and those investments inevitably paid off.”

The respondents who did note that the pandemic caused a disruption repeatedly said that they nonetheless managed to “keep everything in check.” As one CIO at an investment bank puts it, “Data practices became more precise and everyone got more conscious as the pandemic reached its first peak. Key programs have been kept in check and have been restarted securely.”

What Keeps CDOs Up at Night

Financial services organizations are usually at the forefront of data management and governance because they operate in such a heavily regulated environment. So it’s worth knowing what’s on those data executives’ minds, even if your organization is in another sector.

For example, the FIMA study indicates that:

  • 70% of CDOs say risk data aggregation is a primary regulatory concern within the IT departments.
  • Compliance is secondary to overall business improvement, but 88% of organizations devote 40%+ of their data practice’s operating budget to it.
  • Lack of downstream visibility into data consumption (69%) and unclear data provenance and tagging information (65%) are significant challenges.
  • They struggle to apply metadata.
  • Manual processes remain.

The e-guide discusses how data executives must not only secure data and meet rigorous data requirements but also find ways to create new business value with it.

All CDOs and other data professionals likely must deal with the challenges mentioned above – plus improve customer outcomes and boost profitability.

Both mitigating risk and unleashing potential is possible with the right tools, including data catalog, data literacy and metadata-driven automation capabilities for data governance and any other data-centric use case.

Harmonizing Data Management and Data Governance Processes

With erwin Data Intelligence by Quest, your organization can harness and activate your data in a single, unified catalog and then make it available to your data communities in context and in line with business requirements.

The solution harmonizes data management and governance processes to fuel an automated, real-time, high-quality data pipeline enterprise stakeholders can tap into for the information they need to achieve results. Such data intelligence leads to faster, smarter decisions to improve overall organizational performance.

Data is governed properly throughout its lifecycle, meeting both offensive and defensive data management needs. erwin Data Intelligence provides total data visibility, end-to-end data lineage and provenance.

To download the full “The Evolving Role of the CDO at Financial Organizations: 2021 Chief Data Officer (CDO) Study,” please visit:

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erwin Expert Blog

Honoring Women in Tech: Challenging IT Industry Perceptions

International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Celebrated this year on Monday, March 8, the theme is #ChooseToChallenge. That motivated us to honor women in technology, including one of our inspiring customer advocates who is herself choosing to challenge limitations in how we view data and IT.

“I try to treat people the way I’d like to be treated and try to walk in their shoes.”

Meet Libby McNairy … 

Championing learning for women in tech

Libby has been a Data Governance Specialist for about 20 years and has always worked in some capacity in healthcare and healthcare information technology. She began her career in the healthcare industry managing large physician practices where she quickly realized that data could increase productivity as well as patient outcomes.

Libby is passionate about working with the right tools to capture the insights that are embedded in data so organizations run more effectively, while also making sure companies are compliant and as healthy as they can be. Having worked with both hardware and software, Libby has seen IT from numerous vantage points.

We had the opportunity to meet with Libby and ask her a few questions about her #ChoosetoChallenge commitments and passion for women in tech.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been at the company you’re at now?

I recently started working with pharmaceutical company Alkermes where I am assisting with the startup of a data governance program for the commercial organization.  I am extremely proud to be working for them, not only for their commitment to data governance but for their commitment to mental health and addiction.

My career has been working in healthcare and healthcare information technology in some way, and over the years my love for IT just grew and the understanding of protecting the data we gather is a must.

Q: Did you always know that working in technology was what you wanted to do?

I have always been fascinated by data, and in healthcare there is so much – but the question was “how do you get to it, use it and create something out of it that helps the business make decisions”.  With healthcare as most other industries – the issue is you have multiple systems and multiple types of data…. how do you merge those to tell a story with it?  How do you know if this term means the same in this system as it does in another, and once you are done with all the manipulation…then where did it really come from?  So, a person who loves process and procedure – I loved tying it all together and seeing the importance of governing that data so when we use that data it can be trusted.

Q: What are some of the challenges that you relish in your work?

I have had to teach myself about the different aspects of IT. When those job descriptions say, “other duties as assigned”, well I think that has applied to me.  I am not an engineer or developer but worked with a group of engineers for a couple of years, so I had to learn their language and perspective.  Do not be afraid to take on a new challenge, ask questions, dig and learn and then pay that forward.

I have evolved and grown as I have learned new skills and believe me, I am so grateful for those opportunities.  I think you must get out of your comfort zone and understand about what comes before what you do and what comes after.

Q: Do you have a guiding quote you live by or a saying that’s meaningful?

Well, I guess I try to treat people the way I’d like to be treated and try to walk in their shoes. Until you understand what they do and what they’re trying to accomplish, you can’t expect things out of people. In governance we have a saying “It’s a process, not a project” I think life is like that…. we are always in the process, and that can change daily.

Q: What are some things that you have chosen to challenge?

In my life, as I mentioned previously, mental health and addiction issues are important after losing family.  We must be more compassionate about those.

My challenge in my career is that we as women help other women to move up the ladder in IT and to get young women interested in technology as a career.  I think we need to work with our local universities, jr. colleges, technical schools and help mentor.

Q: What advice would you give to women entering the tech field?

As I mentioned above, I have been lucky because I have always had some great mentors.   I encourage women to find a mentor, and for those in the field to look for someone to be a good mentor to.  Also, do not limit yourself to what you were doing in your first IT job. Take advantage of learning all you can…. “Never stop learning”.  If you do not know much about Data Governance – it is a rewarding career.

Another woman in tech #ChoosingToChallenge the narrow definition of what it means to be in IT. Thank you, Libby!