Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Southern California CDAO Community

Kathi Chandler-Payatt

Sales Strategy & Content Insights Executive

MGM Studios

Kathi Chandler-Payatt is the Vice President of Content Analytics & Strategy at MGM, an Amazon company. MGM is the home of James Bond, Legally Blonde, Creed/Rocky and many other culturally iconic films throughout its storied history. In this role, Kathi leads all aspects of content insights for MGM titles licensed to local and global subscription and ad-supported streaming services (i.e., SVOD, AVOD). 

Preceding MGM, Kathi led the first streaming content analytics initiative for FOX Studios Worldwide Television Distribution. Prior to FOX, she led one of the earliest programmatic ad initiatives at Toyota, launching the Oracle BlueKai data management platform (DMP) and developed the strategy for first-and-third party audiences for website personalization. She is a board member of the Loyola Marymount University Information Systems and Business Analytics (ISBA) Advisory Board.

Learn more about leaders in the Southern California CDAO community here.

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

I took my first analytics course during my MBA at UCLA Anderson. The exposure to statistical methods and their power to uncover truths about massive amounts of information fascinated me. I took every analytical course Anderson offered and after graduation was fortunate to land a role at FOX Studios. 

I’m compulsively curious so delving into streaming viewership data and decoding it into business actions was the perfect fit. I loved, and still love, discovering ‘hidden gem’ titles in viewership trends, sharing those insights to spark internal conversation and ideas, and ultimately, informing creative and strategic direction.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Mentorship and development; leaders are responsible for the growth of the individuals on their team, not just the growth of the business. Lift while you rise.

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

My role is equal parts analytics, research, corporate strategy, and communication. The generalist perspective enables me to understand not only our customers but also different MGM groups’ needs to inform wider distribution strategy during this near-fluid time in entertainment. Instead of limiting insights to the analytics/tech groups or a Tableau dashboard, I foresee ‘break out’ companies in or out of Entertainment leaning on the broad knowledge and measurement expertise this role demands and including analytics advisors in core strategic conversations.       

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

Validate data streams yourself as much as possible (e.g., source, collection mechanism, transformation, interpretation). You should have intimate knowledge of strengths and gaps in your data.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. I’m learning chess and obsessed with playing AI opponents.

  2. My house has an abundance of eggs from our 5 chickens.

  3. Favorite film/TV genre: Satire. I love a layered joke.

What is the value of joining an Evanta community?

My strategic vision comes into focus through listening and sharing ideas with other analytics folks. The Evanta community has a diverse selection of industries and job functions yet the problems we’re tackling are largely the same. I feel fortunate to be a member of an expert community of curious, determined, and collaborative problem-solvers.


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