In this episode, Tony hosts Filippo Catalano, former Global CIO at Nestlé, and upcoming EVP/Chief Information and Digitisation Officer at RB—Reckitt Benckiser. During his time as head of digital and later global CIO of Nestlé, Filippo oversaw the global digital and tech transformation of the world’s largest Food, Beverages, and Nutrition company. Filippo shares his affinity and thoughts on data utilization, its transformative impact, the F.A.I.R. data concept, ethics principles in data and AI, and advice on leaders’ role in driving their organizational data strategy forward.
Data for Good: Data is itself neutral and can be used for either good or bad causes. Filippo advised that companies need to take a stance and utilize them not just for their bottom-line interests but also for more purposeful societal or environmental impact. Moreover, they need to partner with the other players, even competitors, to advance fundamental priorities such as sustainability.
F.A.I.R. data: To gain the most value and thus create truly data-driven enterprises, data needs to be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable. Findable and Accessible data can drive the escalation of useful insights. At the same time, data, regardless of internal or external, must be Interoperable: easy to obtain for different enterprise systems. Finally, real data assets need to be Reusable, or the cost of getting one-offs will exceed the potential delivery and impede speed to value. This strategy also allows companies to empower all employees’ data capabilities for greater enterprises’ benefits. For example, with the “citizen analysts” movements, Filippo and his team achieved 45,000 monthly active users at Nestlé.
Ethics for Data and AI: Integrating the ethical aspect right into the groundwork can help companies more than bookending them on the other side of the transformation. Human-based bias may affect little, but it affects exponentially if conjured with automatic algorithms. Therefore, companies need to make sure they are conscientious and avoid creating “Ethical Debt” by creating, declaring, and implementing broadly strong AI and Data Ethical principles tied with their company purpose and mission.
Advice on the role of leaders:
Be always on the side of curiosity about tech so that you can drive the organization forward.
Do not take shortcuts, always lay a strong foundation, go slower at the beginning to go faster later.
Help the organization demystify fears and misconceptions about data and AI.