Tell us about yourself?
I grew up in Lagos Nigeria but have lived in the North-East part of the United States for most of my life. I currently reside in New Jersey, USA. I am a mom of four adult children. Right now, I am working on a Doctoral program in Law and Policy. I also hold an MBA and a Masters of Jurisprudence in Health Law. When I am not working or studying, I enjoy woodworking and travelling.
What led you into the world of Information Governance (IG)?
I ended up in IG by accident. I spent most of my early career in Information Technology. In one of my earlier roles, I was tasked with replacing 27 different Records Management applications with a single integrated solution. Anyone who has ever done application development or implementation knows that good business processes are a critical part of successful software implementation. At the time I made so much noise about the broken business processes at senior management meetings that the firm asked me to help solve them. I agreed with the understanding that I would move back into IT, but as they say, the rest is history. Over the years, I have held various IG roles, including leading Records Management, Electronic Discovery and Data Privacy.
Tell us about your current role in IG?
My current role is what I would describe as an IG adjacent role. Unless you want to take the broader view of the discipline of Information Practices and attach all disciplines that manage or govern information under a single umbrella. I am Vice President of Data Management for Prudential Financial. I help the organization develop its data strategy, oversee the enterprise data management program which includes development of capabilities such as data governance, data quality, master data management. Most of what I do focusses on the Big Data platforms supporting Data Science and Data Analytics.
What pressures are organisations facing to ensure IG best practices?
In May of 2018, Forbes published an article stating that 2.5 Quintillion bytes of data was created every day. We live in a world where data is ubiquitous and malleable. First, companies have to find the right way to rapidly extract value from the data they collect and use. Second, they must use data in compliance with a litany of ever evolving regulations that are becoming highly restrictive. Third, as technology moves so does the complexity associated with data security. Finally, the data subjects are more educated about their data rights and will continue to exercise their rights, this will in turn put great pressure on companies to have the appropriate IG practices. For example, if a California or EU resident exercises their right to be forgotten, the company must have a mechanism in place to delete data. Similarly, if a data subject exercises their right of disclosure, GDPR allows companies 30 days to respond. Without good IG practices, companies will have a difficult time complying with these requirements.
Do you have any tips for someone starting out in IG?
Become multilingual – Learn to speak the language of IG, Technology, Law and Regulation and the industry you serve. IG is about enabling the business, not about policing it. A good IG professional helps their business colleagues succeed.
With the rapidly evolving technologies and digital disruption, where do you see IG heading in the next few years?
We live in an exciting technological time. Just about every device collects data making 3-D Technicolour observation of human behaviour possible. It’s exciting because it creates what the World Economic Forum describes as “a new wave of opportunity for economic and societal value creation.” Data Science and Analytics allow us to describe, diagnose, predict, prescribe. Leveraging machine learning and other exciting tools like natural language processing, companies can develop intimate views of their customers and personalize their services and solutions for each customer. IG professionals get to enable businesses as they take advantage of Data Science. Helping data scientists determine what controls need to be in place as they leverage the data. Incorporating privacy by design into the model lifecycle. Teaching young data scientist about information risk are some of the opportunities IG professional have. But they won’t be able to take advantage of these opportunities if they don’t have deepened knowledge of regulation, data science platforms, security, privacy and other information practices. So, I think the profession will require broader knowledge in many areas of information practices.
Why it is important to be a member of InfoGov ANZ
Global companies must transverse a variety of regulations to be able to collect and use personal data in the provision of goods and services. Unfortunately, there are significant variations in approaches to information practices in different countries and those of us that work in multinational companies have to understand these variations. InfoGovANZ allows professionals from across the world to share knowledge and best practices, address issues and build a body of work for the IG community. I feel quite privileged to be a part of a diverse global group focused on improving information practices in their various companies and for the broader IG community.