Home Marketing Salesforce’s Chief Data Officer on Diversity, Becoming an Author and Helping Other Adoptees

Salesforce’s Chief Data Officer on Diversity, Becoming an Author and Helping Other Adoptees

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Salesforce’s Chief Data Officer on Diversity, Becoming an Author and Helping Other Adoptees

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In 2008, the global financial system was in shambles. The vertiginous drop in the stock market had brought Wall Street to its knees.

Years later, in 2014, the reverberations of The Great Recession were still being felt within the walls of Wells Fargo. Global banking regulator The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) introduced regulation 239 to enhance risk management and decision-making processes at large banks.

Wendy Batchelder, Salesforce’s current chief data officer, was leading the corporate risk divisions data office at Wells Fargo at the time and was tasked with complying with the regulation.

“It took us 18 months to get compliant,” she told Adweek. “It required us to think about what reports are important, which risk reports go to regulators and which go to the board.”

This experience led to Batchelder becoming Wells Fargo’s chief data officer in 2017, although it wasn’t plain sailing.

“I faced a lot of impostor syndrome at that time because I was new in the data space [at Wells Fargo],” she said.

Now at Salesforce, Batchelder’s experience has prepared her to guide the company to mature its data management practices, including understanding what kind of data the company has, where that data is and how it’s classified.

Now, Salesforce is a company with a revenue of $26.49 billion in 2022, per its earnings, and is building the foundation for a generative AI-driven workflow structure. This includes Einstein GPT, a generative AI tool similar to ChatGPT, its warehouse tool called Data Cloud, previously known as Genie, and Flow, its workflow tool. The company’s global investment arm, Salesforce Venture, also launched a $250 million generative AI fund to bolster the startup ecosystem, the company announced in March.

Working Mostly remotely from her home in Iowa, Batchelder holds data management conversations with the company’s various stakeholders, including its sales, marketing and product teams.

“I also have the opportunity to meet with some of our customers,” she said. “Several of them are chief data officers because we own [data analytics platform] Tableau. And I get to have CDO-to-CDO conversations.”