Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the San Francisco CDAO Community

Hemant Todi

Vice President, Data Analytics & Insights

Delta Dental of California

Hemant Todi is an experienced leader in the field of data management and analytics, with more than 20 years of experience working in a global environment. He has a proven track record of delivering high-impact analytical and technological solutions that have had a significant impact on the organizations he has worked at. 

He currently holds the position of VP of Data Analytics and Insights at Delta Dental, where he is responsible for developing and implementing the strategic direction, strengthening and maturing the data ecosystem, and ensuring that the organization is well-positioned to leverage data and analytics to drive business value. 

Learn more about the San Francisco CDAO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

Throughout my professional journey, I have been dedicated to managing and leveraging data assets to build data-driven cultures that drive new capabilities for organizations. Starting my career at Capital One Bank, I spent over seven years in various roles, both back-end and front-end, gaining a deep understanding of how to connect the dots between businesses, customers, and data to meet their unique needs. 

This was the beginning of my passion for ‘all things data’ and led to many other roles where I had the opportunity to lead data transformation, build and consolidate highly effective data teams, and modernize and scale data and analytics functions. In 2019, I was hired by Delta Dental as their VP of Data Analytics and Insights to create a strategic direction and strengthen the data ecosystem.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

One of my guiding principles is to ensure we don’t do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. It is important to realize this and pivot.

With disruption being a key theme of recent years, where do you see the CDAO role going in the next 1-2 years?

I believe that CDAOs’ focus will shift towards driving business outcomes through data and analytics, rather than just managing data as a passive asset. This will involve identifying new opportunities for using data to drive growth, identifying emerging trends and technologies that can help us stay ahead of the curve, and collaborating closely with other executives to align data and analytics initiatives with overall business objectives.

Another key area of focus will be building a data-driven culture within the organization. This will involve educating and empowering employees at all levels to use data and analytics to inform their decision-making and driving a mindset shift towards data-driven decision-making. I also see a need for increased investment in data governance and data quality to ensure that we are working with accurate, reliable data.

Overall, I believe that the role of the CDAO will continue to grow in importance and influence in the coming years, as organizations increasingly recognize the strategic value of data and analytics in driving business success.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a CDAO?

If someone is just starting out in a senior data leadership role, here are a few pieces of advice that I believe could help them succeed:

  1. As a data leader, it's important to have a deep understanding of the business, organization goals, and competitive landscape. This understanding will help prioritize and align data and analytics initiatives to business needs.
  2. As a data leader, it's important to build strong relationships with your stakeholders as this will ensure you have the partnership and collaboration needed to drive successful execution of data and analytics initiatives.
  3. As a data leader, it's important to educate and empower the data community, create an environment where data is used to inform decision-making to drive a data-driven culture within the organization. 

At times driving these can be very challenging, but if you are successful it will make a real impact to the organization.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. I love to explore new places and experience different cultures and food. Some of my favorite places to visit are New York, Paris, and Delhi.
  2. I like to frequent the Crossfit gym. I find it a great way to unwind and keep healthy. 
  3. I enjoy watching movies and series. Some of my favorite series are Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and Succession.

What is the value of joining an Evanta community?

Being part of a professional community like Evanta can be incredibly valuable. It allows you to connect with other professionals who share similar interests and challenges. This can lead to new opportunities, collaborations, and partnerships and a great way to stay connected, learn, and grow your career.

Evanta Governing Body members share their insights and leadership perspectives to shape the agendas and topics that address the top priorities impacting business leaders today.

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