According to the 2021 NewVantage Partners Big Data & AI Executive survey, 99% of firms are reporting active investment in data science and machine learning. However, fewer than 30% of organizations are experiencing transformational business outcomes as a result of these investments, and only 24% of them claim they have created a data-driven organization. Interestingly, 99% of executives believe that a lack of data culture and skills is the chief obstacle towards building a data-driven organization. In this CDO panel discussion, we discuss with three Chief Data Officers in global organizations the critical importance of building data cultures and operationalizing data-driven decision-making throughout the organization. We’ll hear insights from Allianz Beneluxs’ Regional Chief Data and Analytics Officer Sudaman Thoppan Mohanchandralal, Gulf Bank’s Chief Data Officer Mai AlOwaish, and Zand’s Chief Data Officer Eddy Farhat on their journey forging data-driven organizations.
Adel is a Data Science educator, speaker, and Evangelist at DataCamp, where he has released various courses and live training on data analysis, machine learning, and data engineering. Adel is passionate about spreading data skills and data literacy throughout organizations and the intersection of technology and society. He has an MSc in Data Science and Business Analytics. In his free time, you can find him hanging out with his cat Louis.
Mai AlOwaish is the Chief Data Officer at Gulf Bank; She is a seasoned information systems and data analytics expert with 18 years of experience between Kuwait and the United States, where she spearheaded a variety of data analytics and e-commerce initiatives and enabled digital transformation for financial institutions, retailers, airlines, and more. In her current position, Mai leads the data and analytics practice in Gulf Bank and oversees the data strategy and implementation of data science and analytics use cases. Mai has orchestrated the Data Ambassadors program to start a data-driven culture and enable business users to self-serve with analytics across the organization.
Sudaman Thoppan Mohanchandralal is the Regional Chief Data & Analytics Officer at Allianz Benelux. Steered directly by the regional CEO with his team, he has deployed many insurance leading AI solutions securing and enriching the competitive advantage for their business. He holds two masters in Computer Science & Business Administration, with a super specialization in Business Analytics and Intelligence. He is a data scientist and technologist, and is interested in translating complex ideas into actions, and carries the view that the future is one of ubiquitous AI. He’s experienced in bridging business initiatives with technology and human expertise, and fitting AI into organizations of today to transform them into organisations of tomorrow. He is also a doctoral student, following his PhD trajectory in the field of Artificial General Intelligence. His research interest is in encoding expertise in active self-learning machines.
A software engineering graduate, Eddy Farhat started his career in technology consulting with Booz&Co. He then moved to the UAE to scale one of the earliest eCommerce startups in the region MarkaVIP, where he led strategy and analytics teams. During his tenure at Google, Eddy focused on promoting the adoption of digital technologies amongst the largest advertisers in the UAE as well as creating an ecosystem of partners in the data engineering and digital marketing space. Currently, Eddy is the Chief Data Officer of Zand with a team spanning data governance, data engineering, business intelligence, enterprise architecture, and data science functions.