Governing Body Spotlight
Co-Chair of the Minneapolis CDO Community
Chief Data and Analytics Officer
Kapil Narang is the Chief Data and Analytics Officer at Ameriprise Bank (part of Ameriprise Financial), and he has been with Ameriprise since 2007.
Learn more about leaders in the Minneapolis CDO community here.
Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.
I started my career in strategy consulting, leveraging data to influence key decisions. It was during that time that I learned how data could impact strategy and operations, and, while conceptually simple, there are several challenges.
I have since set up an Analytics Center of Excellence for Ameriprise, and one key element we work on is solving for these challenges. Ameriprise set up a new bank a few years ago, and I became the Chief Data and Analytics Officer. In this role, I am focused on ensuring that Ameriprise has easy availability of the right data at the right time to support decision making.
What is one of your guiding leadership principles?
Hire smart people and give them the freedom to innovate. There is so much growth and change happening in our industry, and it is imperative to have a hundred flowers bloom.
With disruption being a key theme of the past year, where do you see your role as a CDO going in the next 1-2 years?
I see greater integration between strategy and analytics. I believe that data and analytics will help differentiate products and enable companies to reach out to prospects and clients in more personalized ways.
While availability of data has been a key theme up until now, this will evolve to data usage and how that can help companies grow their business. While challenging, this role will help ensure that analytics becomes central to supporting the future of companies.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CDO?
Learn, experiment and don’t be afraid of failure. Some issues that you are grappling with are issues the rest of us are grappling with, as well. So talk to your fellow CDOs, and together we can find solutions.
Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.
- I have a brown thumb, and have successfully killed every plant that I have tried to look after.
- I have moved around quite a bit in my life, both for my schooling and work, and I have never lived in the same house for more than a few years. An added advantage has been that I have traveled to more than 25 countries.
- I love the start-up world. I have invested in all kinds of ideas both in the US and international markets.
What is the value of joining an Evanta community?
I think the greatest value of the Evanta community is how it has stayed true to the idea of “for CDOs, by CDOs”. Most communities become very vendor centric, but Evanta has avoided that by focusing on key issues that CDOs face and developing a forum to meet other professionals with similar backgrounds working on similar issues to have thoughtful discussions.
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