CDO Summit in Paris: a focus on innovation

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More than a dozen accomplished French (and other European) Chief Data Officers and senior executives gathered in Paris on November 5, 2015 in the elegant Salon Pompadour at Hotel Le Meurice. This sumptuous palace dates back to the early 19th century, and was a timelessly beautiful and inspiring setting for stimulating conversation on creating long-term business results from new CDO initiatives. Attendees discussed their evolving roles, shared details of their professional challenges, and offered each other honest and actionable advice on how to channel their companies’ vast amounts of data toward product, service and operational innovation.

The occasion was the IBM CDO Summit, hosted by Bob Picciano, IBM Senior Vice President, Analytics. He focused on two main topics: how CDOs can find new data sources that might spark innovation and how CDOs can prepare for increasing amounts of data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT). The ambiance was a blend of a lively, passionate breakfast meeting of peers discussing trends and a boardroom-style discussion among members of an elite brain trust. The group gathered represented a variety of industries and organizations, including banking, automobile manufacturing, home-appliance manufacturing and cutting-edge digital agencies.

Creating competitive advantages for CDOs

Those gathered discussed the value of having a strong IoT strategy, which executives described as a clear competitive advantage for CDOs. A consistent theme: thanks to the internet of things, CDOs can now get access to voluntary customer data faster than ever before, thanks to connected devices that collect and offer real-time information on product usage or, in the case of fitness and medical devices, users’ health. This data can help CDOs inform their companies on how to improve the performance of current products, as well as inform innovation teams on how to create useful and relevant offerings for consumers and clients.

Attendees also addressed IBM’s own recent, strategic decision to acquire most of the assets of The Weather Company — and how this would affect their specific industries. Other topics included how to think more like a startup while also recognizing there is strength in the inherent pragmatism of large, established companies and their data offices.

Because the Internet of Things was such a focal point of the CDO Summit, Paris, THINK Leaders has put together a mini-guide to the topic, translated into European French. It consists of two articles: an extended definition with CDO context for the term “internet of things,” as well as a step-by-step set of sequential CDO guidance on how to take the most advantage of an IoT strategy (and execution). They are designed to help CDOs take the conversations started at Hotel Le Meurice futher toward action–and innovation.


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