Managing Your Data Estate — Putting AI to Work Instead of Play

Session Preview
Southern California CDAO Executive Summit

Matt Smith

Chief Data Officer - West Enterprise Operating Unit


Sarath Ramaswami

Senior Vice President, Data

American Homes 4 Rent

Meetali Agarwal

Vice President, Head of Data

Domino's Pizza

MAY 2024

Having connected, informed, trustworthy and responsive data is necessary for properly transforming your organization and achieving your digital goals. Yet, as data and analytics leaders know, data silos, disconnected systems, and incongruent data inhibit this organizational nirvana. Add this lack of connectivity to the intense focus on GenAI right now – and there's an even bigger hill for Chief Data & Analytics Officers (CDAOs) to climb.

At the upcoming Southern California CDAO Executive Summit on May 23, Chief Data Officer - West Enterprise Operating Unit Matt Smith of Microsoft will lead a session on “Managing Your Data Estate – Putting AI to Work Instead of Play.” Evanta Governing Body Members Sarath Ramaswami, Senior Vice President, Data at American Homes 4 Rent, and Meetali Agarwal, Vice President, Head of Data at Domino's, will help lead the discussion.

This breakout session will focus on how to use the hype and capabilities around AI as an opportunity to build a broader data estate, regardless of the business unit, system or cloud in which it resides. The data leaders will discuss how to create the most effective ecosystem and adopt new GenAI capabilities, how to maximize your data, analytics, and AI investments, and how to simplify how you leverage data fabric and AI.

Ahead of the session, Matt is sharing insights into the topic and why CDAOs should look beyond GenAI and focus more on their larger data estate strategy.

Matt has over 10 years of experience at Microsoft, where he played a key role in the incubation and creation of the field CDO role, a strategic position that helps customers accelerate their digital transformation journeys. He currently leads a talented team of data and AI specialists that support over 130 of the largest enterprises in the West United States across various industries, such as travel, hospitality, gaming, professional services, and energy. 

Matt sits on the board of directors for a Supply Chain Startup that uses AI to optimize supply chain operations, increase basket size and reduce costs. Matt holds a degree in Computer Engineering from Oakland University and is a co-chair of the Evanta CDAO Southern California Community.

What are some of the challenges CDAOs face as they navigate their data strategies today?

The biggest challenge for data leaders and organizations today is the silos, having a set of systems that aren't connected, and consequently, not being able to derive valuable insights because the data is all over the place. You can't get one, clear picture.

Key questions we will discuss with CDAOs include - how are you managing legacy, in terms of platform aging, architecture evolution, and people capacity for your organization? And, are you struggling with people bandwidth challenges, and what are the strategies you are deploying to overcome this?

Why is it critical for Evanta’s CDAO community members to have this conversation now?

There is so much hype around GenAI, but there needs to be a broader conversation around the larger data estate and how to create a connected ecosystem that will allow organizations to find efficiencies across their workforce and investments. Your AI is only as good as your data.

What are you most looking forward to about this session?

I’m looking forward to executives sharing how they are approaching their own data estate strategies so we can all learn from one another. I’m also looking forward to discussing our key questions with the data leaders in attendance on creating an effective data ecosystem, maximizing data and AI investments, and simplifying the process of leveraging data fabric and AI.

Join this conversation with Matt Smith of Microsoft at the Evanta Southern California CDAO Executive Summit on May 23, or apply to join your local CDAO community to connect with like-minded data leaders on mission critical topics like data strategy and generative AI.

Special thanks to Microsoft.

by CDAOs, for CDAOs

Join the conversation with peers in your local CDAO community.