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Fireside chat with Peggy Tsai

Who is Peggy?

I am a data governance practitioner and specialist who has worked in financial services companies in Wall Street. I helped build out and operationalize enterprise global data governance programs at banks and insurance companies whose main focus was standardizing the data, delivering on regulatory reporting, and sharing data to business end-users.

Along the way, I implemented frameworks and I learned about technologies that helped to support my data initiatives. I am currently the Chief Data Officer at BigID where I am responsible for the data strategy of our products and the advisory services group as well. In my spare time, I serve as a Global co-lead of events for data and technology groups for women in the industry. I also serve as an adjunct faculty member of Carnegie Mellon University’s Chief Data Analytics Officer program.

Tell us more about your role in BigID.

I have 3 main responsibilities at BigID. I help support our customers and prospects in their data governance journey whether it’s through the successful adoption of our product or through strategic advising on building out their program. I also work closely with our Product Management team in identifying key capabilities that are requested by our customers and designing the user experience. Lastly, I work closely with our marketing team on product messaging and share thought leadership on behalf of BigID at data conferences.

What is the most difficult part of your job? But the most rewarding one?

The most difficult part of the job is juggling the different moving parts of all the customer engagements and trying to see how I can add value to the conversation. I can be engaged in dozens of customer meetings each week but managing my time to prepare for them and continue the conversations is difficult! I also recognize that the sales process can take time so it is a marathon, not a sprint, when it comes to building relationships with the customers. However, the most rewarding part of the job is when a customer is happy with the product! It always surprises me when I meet someone at a conference who recognizes BigID and declares themselves a user! More importantly, I love it when they share how much time BigID’s discovery and classification has saved them!

Is there anything that you would change about your professional path?

There isn’t much that I would change about my professional path because I believe every career decision has shaped who I am today. There are lessons to be learned from every mistake and success. However if I were to change anything, I would have pivoted earlier into analytics and data science.

What’s your key strategy for the development of your company?

My key strategy is to always focus on the customer value, benefits and experience. As a former data practitioner, I am very aware of the product experience and how it is ultimately used by the data teams. I want to ensure that capabilities add value to the user, that they help the customer with solving a pain point and that the experience is positive and seamless. I believe that this strategy will ensure that our customers are held to the highest priority.

What do you think about the next period of time, keeping in mind the pandemic and the new business climate? How will your industry be affected?

There’s still a lot of uncertainty in the near term in regards to the pandemic as we head into the winter months. The new business climate is more cautious. However regulatory deadlines and mandates are not going away.

On top of that, headlines about companies with data breaches  impacting millions of customers is becoming a frequent  problem. There will be external events that force companies to address their data, security and privacy programs which will continue to drive demand in my industry.

However the challenge will be how companies prioritize fixing these external threats. The leaders will be those that prioritize their data programs and the laggards will continue to delay implementing a data-driven approach to governance.

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

A few of the technologies that have the greatest impact on the business pertain to AI/ML techniques that can discover, classify and correlate data from different sources and types.

What books do you have on your nightstand?

I have a pretty eclectic collection of books that I’m hoping to get through this year including historical books like Aaron Burr in Exile, Killing Lincoln, to business topics like Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and classics like Persuasion by Jane Austen.

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