Why It’s Important That Anthony Scriffignano Has Been Named U.S. Chief Data Officer of the Year 2018

A Plea for Quality

I believe in quality. I set high standards for myself, and for those who work with me. As a guiding principle, I believe that you’d better invest in high quality rather than opt for the cheap low quality option, because quality pays off, in the long run. This is true in general, and particularly for data.

If you disagree, you probably won’t find this article interesting.

Who is Anthony Scriffignano?

Only few people managed to fascinate me so much from the very first moment, that I remained their admirer ever since. One of these people is Anthony Scriffignano, Senior Vice President and Chief Data Scientist at Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). We first met in Short Hills, New Jersey, shortly after I have joined Dun & Bradstreet in the role of Business Development Director, back in 2015 (time flies!). It immediately became clear that we share our love for languages, and in Anthony’s case one should say not only languages but rather linguistics. It was with great passion that Anthony introduced to me the intricacies of linguistics in a number of languages, demonstrating that understanding syntax and semantics in data is hugely complex yet beautifully elegant, if you have the right knowledge, tools and people to support you. He demonstrated so tangibly the difference between data and valuable insights.

What’s In a Title: CDO vs. CDS

Anthony’s title at D&B is “SVP, Chief Data Scientist” (CDS), not “SVP, Chief Data Officer” (CDO). I never asked Anthony why, but I think it makes sense. CDO is a managerial title, a member of the CxO suite of a company. Anthony is more than that. Anthony is a senior professional with passion for data science, not just a manager.

U.S. Chief Data Officer OF THE YEAR 2018

On May 30th 2018 Anthony Scriffignano was recognized as the U.S. Chief Data Officer of the Year 2018 by the CDO Club, the world’s largest community of C-suite digital and data leaders. A well-deserved award.

Understanding What Dun & Bradstreet Stands For

Anthony Scriffignano is Chief Data Scientist at Dun & Bradstreet. Probably most readers of this blog know very well who D&B is. D&B is one of the very few companies whose client base includes roughly 90% of the Fortune 500 companies, meaning that roughly two thirds of the U.S. GDP runs on D&B services. D&B is the largest provider worldwide of business information, i.e. information about companies. Such information is being used by D&B clients for various purposes, including Credit Risk management, Vendor Risk management, Marketing / Lead Generation, Compliance (AML/KYC/CDD), and the secret weapon: Master Data Management (MDM).

D&B Data Quality

When compared to other business information providers in the marketplace, D&B stands out clearly for the quality of its data. “Data quality” is often perceived as intangible, hard to measure. If syntax is incorrect, you’ll detect it quickly. But if the data is inaccurate or incomplete… how would you know it? Often you’ll know it once it’s too late. For example, if you use a failure score (bankruptcy score) with low predictive power, you will detect the problem only after you’ve had to write-off some large debts. Too late…

Therefore, when you assess the quality of data, you often assess the degree of trust that you have in the quality of all data acquisition, processing and analysis of your data supplier. The quality of this process, that’s the unique selling point of Dun & Bradstreet and its WorldWide Network (WWN) partners. And that’s why its data is of superior quality when compared to all of its competitors.

Back to Anthony Scriffignano

Let’s get back to Anthony. Upon awarding the title to Anthony, the founder of the CDO Club said: “Dun & Bradstreet is one of the world’s most trusted sources of data and analytics, and Anthony’s thought leadership continues to provide innovative, sound counsel to businesses and organizations as they navigate data challenges in today’s global marketplace”. Anthony symbolizes this quality of D&B; the relentless curiosity in collecting, processing and analyzing data, to derive the most powerful insights, offering by far the highest quality in the B2B data marketplace.

Why Is This Important For You?

Does your organization deal with businesses, as clients, as suppliers or as grant requestors? Or do you work for a Government agency that is tasked either with stimulating the economy (i.e. facilitate businesses) or G2B Law Enforcement? (all these groups together cover most of the adults worldwide)

If you do, Business Information is important for you. And if you read this article, you probably also value quality. 1+1=2. This implies that having people like Anthony Scriffignano that continuously push the limits of data quality is important for you, because you want to be able to rely on the quality of the data that you obtain.

And therefore join me in congratulating D&B’s Chief Data Scientist Anthony Scriffignano for being named the U.S. Chief Data Officer of 2018!


(For questions about Dun & Bradstreet, contact your local D&B office, or drop me a message)


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