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Champions of Data and AI
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Champions of Data and AI

Author: Databricks

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Data leaders powering data-driven innovation. In each episode, we salute Champions of Data + AI, the change agents who are shaking up the status quo. These mavericks are rethinking how data and AI can enhance the human experience. We’ll dive into their challenges — and celebrate their successes — all while getting to know these leaders a little more personally.
17 Episodes
Tune in to hear Yao Morin, the Chief Data Officer at JLL, share insights on overcoming data quality challenges and learn about the approach she’s taking to up the game by using data to transform services and solutions in commercial real estate. Be sure to listen to the end for a friendly debate on how electrical engineering is the best major for data and AI. Or is it?
In this episode, Duan joins us to discuss how data transcends industries. She shares how her experiences shape her approach to using data for AI in order to rethink consumer experiences for entertainment platforms like HBO Max.
Organizations worldwide are focusing on greater diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. But what about ensuring DEI within data? In this episode, Jeffrey Reid from Regeneron joins us to explore the struggles facing the genetics and healthcare industry when it comes to representation in data and the adverse impact it can have on AI algorithms if left unaddressed. Jeff also dives into his experience as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and how it influences his approach to being more inclusive with data in genomics.
Driving any type of change across a large enterprise is hard enough. Now imagine having to transform your organization to be data- and AI-driven so you can improve operational efficiency, accelerate innovation to gain new insights and implement best practices to build data products. John Irvin joins us to discuss this very transformation and the role data and AI play in helping Deloitte become carbon neutral in the global fight against climate change. 
Data is huge. But no matter how much data you have, it’s dwarfed by the data collected by your partners and third parties. That’s why data sharing is the next big thing. As organizations increase the use of third-party data to complement and supplement their existing data sets, the ability to securely share reliable, relevant and large quantities of data creates a whole new world of possibilities. Warren Breakstone joins us to share his thoughts on scaling data marketplaces.
Dan shares his views on how persistence and a fail-fast approach to experimentation are helping a global brand like Shell transform its business across multiple industries — energy and commodities, retail, and commercial real estate — with new applications of data and AI. 
Every industry faces the challenge of identifying and understanding their customers. In this episode, Don shares how he tackles customer 360 and how his own personal experiences helped bring customer-centricity to a new level.
Healthcare is increasingly turning to data to improve the services it provides to its customers. Slawek shares his personal views on the role of data and AI in healthcare equity, particularly how data architectures like lakehouse can enable key insights while still protecting patient information. Finally, he’ll talk about how leadership coaching helps him and his teams achieve big goals on a personal level.  
Culture can make or break organizations. It also plays a vital role in an organization’s ability to become data-driven. In this episode, sit down with not just one but five data leaders in a panel discussion on building data cultures. 
Champions of Data+AI series host Chris D'Agostino provides a recap of season 1 and introduces the series new co-host Alexandra Mysak.  Alex provides a preview into season 2 and how listeners can engage and provide feedback. 
To have an effective enterprise data and AI strategy, you need to take a methodical approach to data management. In this episode, Habsah Nordin, the Head of Enterprise Data in Group Digital at PETRONAS, discusses her approach to building a data-driven organization that starts with a strong data management layer. We’ll also get her perspective on her experience as the first woman PETRONAS hired in this role — and what advice she has for aspiring data and AI leaders.
When people think of data-driven organizations, you hear the same names again and again: Google, Netflix, Facebook and Uber. Often overlooked are large data-driven organizations like Johnson & Johnson that have thrived for decades by using data to make business decisions. Join us to hear Pallaw Sharma from J&J talk about the importance of having a well-curated data layer for all data types — structured, semi-structured and unstructured — so you can tackle all data and AI use cases.
What happens when the data being used to improve customer experiences has unknown or inherent biases? JoAnn Stonier discusses the ethical use of data when implementing machine learning and AI use cases. She also shares her perspective on the steps that organizations can take to eliminate bias from showing up in the data.
From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, educational institutions had to quickly make the shift to teaching fully online. In this episode, Kate Carruthers, Chief Data and Insights Officer at the University of New South Wales Sydney, discusses how she’s helping transform the university into a data-driven organization. Kate and her team are delivering new insights to instructors and students, rapidly moving pilot applications to production, and creating innovative ways to combat new threats that challenge the sanctity of the code of ethics between students and the university.
Champion: Jon Francis, Chief Analytics Officer, StarbucksAs data leaders design, develop and iterate on new data and AI products, it's critical to maintain the human connection — especially in consumer-focused businesses. Jon Francis, Chief Analytics Officer of Starbucks, joins us to share insights from his experience leading data teams across some of the most iconic brands, including Starbucks, Nike, Amazon and Microsoft. Tune in to hear Jon share the challenges and responsibilities data leaders face in maintaining a healthy balance between using data ethically and driving new insights.
Champion: Sol Rashidi, Chief Analytics Officer, Estée LauderData leaders are updating their playbook with an offense that focuses on increasing business value with data and AI. Take Sol Rashidi, Chief Analytics Officer of Estée Lauder. She holds seven patents and was recently recognized as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Tech. In this episode, Sol dives into how she’s taking charge of product development to add business value, all while overcoming organizational challenges and becoming a change agent.
Champion: Stuart Hughes, Chief Information and Digital Officer, Roll-RoyceData democratization starts with disruptive leadership. When data leaders simplify the data architecture and empower data teams with the right tools and creative freedom to do their best work, they unleash data's true power. Join us to hear from our special guest, Stuart Huges, Chief Information Digital Officer at Rolls Royce, talk about his mission as a disruptive leader at this venerable company.
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