Introducing the new data guy next door: The CDO

The new CXO in town

According to Gartner, the consumer facing sectors in India, such as retail, BFSI, hire a CDO to find out the changes that are taking place in the customer buying behavior. SBI General Insurance is one of them. When its sales department wants to obtain information and drive acquisition and retention of its large customer base that spans across 56 cities in India, it knocks on the Chief Data Officer’s door.


Anthony Devassy, for the last seven years, has worked closely with businesses to create revenue generation opportunities and help drive business decisions. He reports to the deputy CEO of the firm. Data projects are successful if they are driven by a strong business need and where they see value being generated,” says Devassy. His day starts with the various business functions demanding information and insights which need to turn around within a reasonable time frame. While this is the most critical aspect of his job, to make this happen, he has to continuously focus on the data management processes which ensure that quality data is used to deliver accurate insights. 


Devassy is also in-charge of analytics. “The real value of analytics can only be realized if the organization has done an exceptional job at managing data. Whether it is a risk and audit-related information, customer retention and acquisition data, new business opportunities or revenue generation and regulatory returns, there’s merit in having one person in charge of data and analytics,” he says. Like Devassy, Gautam Mehra, Chief Data Officer at Dentsu Aegis, is also in charge of data and analytics. But unlike Devassy, his role is customer facing. The digital marketing firm hired Mehra in September this year. He handles their company's analytics and insights, creates data-driven products, and is building a data practice across agency brands. For customers today, it isn't enough to know how many people viewed their TV spot or saw their digital ad; they want to know who interacted with a brand with a download, click, follow, like, post or hashtag," says Mehra.


He has built a large array of proprietary tech to enable marketers and help them make better datadriven decisions. With its help, the firm has been able to improve the brand scores of one of their client's by a significant margin and bring down the cost of their lead generation post the brand campaign by over 80%. “What I love about data in our vertical is that it is not just about data management and insights, but being able to use data as a multiplier to solve large-scale business problems at the pace that wasn’t possible earlier,” he says. 

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