Gaining Value from a Cloud-Based Data Ecosystem with the CDO of Fannie Mae

Community Blog
Written by Amanda Baldwin

OCTOBER 31, 2023

Cloud-based data ecosystems offer businesses the flexibility to quickly manage and scale their data platforms according to their specific needs; however, many enterprise and data leaders face barriers along their transformation journey, including limitations with legacy technology, cost, implementation time, upskilling and adoption to name a few. 

Evanta, a Gartner Company’s, exclusive C-level communities expressed an avid interest in how to optimally move their data to the cloud, and so we were excited to welcome Chief Data Officer of Fannie Mae, Kevin Bates to The Next Big Question Podcast. Here, he answered the question, “How Can an Enterprise Gain Value from a Cloud-Based Data Ecosystem?”

It ultimately comes down to being well-managed as an organization around your data. It’s the lifeblood of the company.”

During the conversation with host Liz Ramey, Kevin emphasized how data ecosystems must have strong foundations, and he visualized three big hills they need to climb as a part of their foundational efforts. He added, “The benefits you're looking for are the ability to move quickly, to move strategically, and to not have to reinvent your foundation every time you have a new effort that you need to support… It really pays off over time.”

Kevin also detailed how data leaders need to be aware of varying business personas and their individual data needs to drive the organization forward. He said, “If you take a well-rounded view and say these are the people that inform your priorities as an enterprise leader, that's really going to serve you well, and you'll often find a common language among them where you can harmonize what you're doing to support all of them at the same time.”

It wouldn’t be a conversation with a Chief Data Officer without touching on the impact of generative AI, and Kevin described how he at Fannie Mae is thinking about the opportunities and risks. He outlined how generative AI can be used for both transformational purposes and to improve efficiencies. But, he was also clear that they need to have “real control” over the data they use to inform their business.

What's new now is this concept of generative AI and these large language models, which in their most powerful state exist in the Internet. They're out there in the world, and they're learning from everything that's happening in the world… and that's not how many companies can operate.”

Kevin Bates is the Chief Data Officer of Fannie Mae and a Governing Body Member of the Washington, DC CDAO Community. His team is focused on developing and executing on the firm's data strategy, including cultivating a "data-first" culture that empowers the business, enabling advanced analytics practices, mitigating risk, and serving regulatory needs. Kevin joined Fannie Mae in 2004 and has grown with the company through successful delivery of technology and data solutions. 

Listen to the full episode of The Next Big Question Podcast, Episode 26: “How Can an Enterprise Gain Value from a Cloud-Based Data Ecosystem?” here or on your favorite podcast platform

Amanda Baldwin headshot

Amanda Baldwin

Content Marketing Manager at Evanta, a Gartner Company

by CHROs, for CHROs

Find your local community and explore the benefits of becoming a member.