Recently the University of Maryland launched the first undergraduate honors college program for cybersecurity: the Advanced Cybersecurity Experience for Students. I had the privilege to be the opening speaker with other remarks from President Wallace Loh of the University, CEO of Northrop Grumman Wes Bush, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland William “Brit” Kirwan, and my fellow colleague Kristen Pellicot from the ACES program. As a member of the first ACES cohort I am very excited and enthusiastic about the implications this program has in training future leaders in the cybersecurity industry. For more information about the program, please visit aces.umd.edu.
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Photo Credit John T. Consoli/University of Maryland
The roles of Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) are pretty commonplace to any company’s IT department. As questions such as how to store, manage, and analyze big data continue to arise, finding the right leadership and skill-sets needed to grow big data capabilities within an organization will play a key role in making companies successful in leveraging their data. These efforts can and should be led by the Chief Data Officer (CDO). What does it take for a company to hire the right CDO?
In order to succeed in finding the right CDO, organizations will have to acknowledge that the CDO is a role that will be necessary to fill within the next one to three years. In March, 2013, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System called for a CDO to oversee data management and data stewardship initiatives at the Federal Reserve. Only two months later, Micheline Casey, the nation’s first state CDO from Colorado’s governor’s office, was hired for the position. The U.S. federal government has also pursued actively hiring over ten other Chief Data Officers for positions at organizations such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Office of Legislative Affairs. This new position has also taken root in state governments, including Colorado, New York, and Pennsylvania to name a few.
The government has surpassed the private sector in the adoption and hiring of Chief Data Officers. Why? The definition of who and what a Chief Data Officer does is still somewhat open and is not rigidly defined, making companies uneasy about what a CDO brings to the table. As the realization that data is an invaluable asset continues to validate itself, companies will be better prepared to take on the task of defining the role of a CDO.
From a high level perspective, here are some basic skills and responsibilities that any CDO should be accountable for.… Continue reading
Data has increasingly captivated enterprise communities and industries across the world in recent years. The impact of big data has rapidly emerged from being solely a means of strengthening a company’s competitive edge in the marketplace to becoming a global network of discovering knowledge and gaining actionable insights. Data has not only become a driving factor in scientific and societal evolution – it has become a product in its own right.
In the Economist’s World in 2013 Festival, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s president, Shirley Ann Jackson, identified data as a resource and commodity, just like electricity which developed from a novelty into a resource that powers the world. Unlike electricity, which has a relatively fixed economic value, big data has become an invaluable capability.
30 second clip of Shirley Ann Jackson explaining big data as a commodity
While this may be old news for enterprise professionals, how many average people are able to recognize the value of big data? When compared to those who identify electricity as an essential commodity, very few. This has started to change, however, as corporations and other communities have begun to advertise to consumers how big data is improving the products they are familiar with. General Electric recently started a new promotion called Datalandia that has been airing through several video advertising campaigns. The commercial, animated and narrated in a breaking-news fashion, demonstrates to consumers how big data and GE technologies are enhancing their daily lives. The minute-long promotion may seem inconsequential, but it clearly indicates the population’s growing interest in what big data has to offer for them.
Rick Smolan, well known American photographer, wisely states that “this is the cave man era of big data.” For those who haven’t realized the global commodity that big data is rapidly becoming, Smolan’s “The Human Face of Big Data” is a must see.… Continue reading
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