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My Profile
John Smith
Data Scientist, USA
Cloud-Ready Data
Digital Transformation
Data Governance

A data culture with ethics, governance and community

Blog NYMeetup

Data ethics, a new and rapidly evolving discipline, was the focus of Collibra’s NYC Data Citizens Meetup, held in early November. I joined more than 50 data leaders, who came together to network, learn, and share best practices.

To be amongst so many data-loving citizens as myself (a self-proclaimed data geek!) was a thought-provoking experience, the knowledge shared was unbeatable. Below is a brief synopsis of the evening which includes overviews of our keynote presenter, Rich Clayton and our leading women in data panelists: Peggy Tsai, Vice President, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Analytics & Data; Fiona Fox, Senior Manager Enterprise Data Management at TD Ameritrade; Deborah Wall, ED Data Science at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management; Dessa Glasser, Principal at the Financial Risk Group and Independent Board Member at Oppenheimer Holdings; and Emily Dodwell, Senior Inventive Scientist at AT&T Labs Research.

Keep an eye out for two future blog posts, which will look more in depth at the issues of data ethics as an evolving discipline and engaging the business in dialogue about business ethics.


The evening began with networking before Fleur Sohtz, the Chief Marketing Officer at Collibra, took to the stage to introduce our keynote presenter Rich Clayton, followed by our leading women in data panel. Both presentations played nicely into our overlying theme: data ethics.  As many of us know, data has never been more critical in the way firms are operating. Nowadays, though, we are seeing that the use of data is raising a lot of ethical questions.

Ask yourself the same question posed that evening: What is your organization doing to stay ahead of the curb by using AI and ML to get the most out of your data in a useful and ethical way?

With the advances we are seeing in AI, many organizations are raising questions around the ethical treatment of data that powers it. Both Rich and our panelists agreed that organizations need to take a more proactive approach to data ethics vs. focusing solely on compliance with regulatory requirements. One key opportunity that came up to help organizations take those first steps is to better understand your data governance journey.  Think about the full picture and all of the stages your data may go through, then take all circumstances into consideration.

In the next year, many organizations will make taking next steps in creating a data ethics culture a priority. Working together as data citizens, we can all help impact each others’ journeys. I encourage all of us to continue to get together to collaborate, share ideas, and update each other on the progress each of our individual organizations is making in promoting a more ethical culture around their data resources. Data Citizens Meetups are the place for that! I look forward to seeing you all at our next one in Q1 2019 to keep this conversation going.

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