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The annual Data Team Awards showcase how different enterprise data teams are delivering solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems. 

Nearly 300 nominations were submitted by companies from  diverse industries and regions across six categories. Each of these organizations have displayed remarkable innovation in their use of data and AI initiatives and we want to help tell those stories. As we approach the Data and AI Summit, we will highlight the finalists in each category in the days to come.

The Data Visionary Award celebrates forward-thinking CIOs, CDOs, and CTOs who turn data, analytics and AI innovation into impact — producing amazing outcomes for their organization while inspiring the global data community. 

Below are the finalists for 2023’s Data Visionary Award:


Jamelle Brown, CTO, First Orion

With a mission to provide an exceptional mobile experience and protect consumers from bad actors, Jamelle Brown, CTO at First Orion, has established a data-driven culture across the company in an effort to create next-level communication experiences, including branded communication, real-time spoof mitigation, and spam prevention. Jamelle and his elite team of data architects and engineers rely on Databricks Lakehouse to ingest and analyze data generated by over 100 billion calls annually. With this data centralized in the Lakehouse, he and his team created a collaborative environment that has removed the barrier to data access and boosted productivity by 35%+. As a result, over 200 First Orion employees across 8+ teams from IT, marketing, and sales now leverage a centralized platform to run analytical reports, train ML models, and even generate automated billing. For example, through the use of Dolly on the Lakehouse, Jamelle and his team created an LLM to replace manual searching for developer and product documentation, delivering over 5x in productivity and efficiency gains to developers. They are also developing other LLM-based services, such as one which can constantly improve an AI answering service to intercept better and combat pesky phone calls from scammers. Under his leadership, First Orion has delivered operational efficiencies and new product innovations that have contributed more than $12.7M in value over the last three years.

Tim Dickson, CIO, Generac Power Systems 

How do legacy enterprises attract and retain the best tech talent? For Generac CIO, Tim Dickson, his goal was to turn this 60-year old manufacturer in the midwest into a destination for top analysts, data scientists, and data engineers by providing talent a place where they can innovate and have an immediate business impact. Key to building a modern technology organization would start with simplifying the underlying data architecture. With Databricks Lakehouse, Tim’s team was able to centralize over 100 data sources into a unified data layer for various teams to access and leverage for analytics and ML. And to boost operational efficiency, they sought to automate data engineering tasks that often slow down momentum. This has made it easy for data teams to ideate, test, and roll out new data and AI products quickly. With Tim’s vision and data strategy, Generac has quickly become a destination for tech talent from all over the Midwest and beyond. Technologists know that when they come to Generac, its data-first culture and cutting-edge technologies will give them the tools to innovate and create a real impact.


Michel Lutz, CDO, TotalEnergies

In response to the fast-paced evolution of the energy industry, TotalEnergies, a multi-energy company, acknowledged the crucial need to modernize its data strategy. Led by visionary Chief Data Officer, Michel Lutz, TotalEnergies embarked on an ambitious transformational journey towards adopting the Databricks Lakehouse to streamline data engineering operations, ML operations and model deployments at scale. This strategic move aimed to revolutionize their approach to data and AI, enabling them to remain at the forefront of the industry's advancements in areas ranging from energy production, transmission and transformation, to storage and distribution. This journey began with a massive move to the cloud for a part of their systems, unlocking new possibilities for scalability, agility, and innovation. Michel and his teams had to put TotalEnergies' vast amounts of data to work in support of the company's ambition and its multi-energy strategy: to provide reliable, affordable and sustainable energy to as many people as possible, while emitting less CO2. This data covers a wide range of fields, from geosciences and industrial assets and processes, to supply & logistics, products & services, sales & customers, or support functions.  Alongside all the company's data officers, IT and business teams, Michel has paved the way for a paradigm shift within the organization — bringing together a lot of  their diverse data for intelligent analytics and ML in company-wide shared infrastructures. Michel Lutz's strategic vision and leadership has propelled TotalEnergies into a new era of data-driven excellence, empowering them to make smarter decisions, drive operational efficiencies, and unlock unprecedented value from their vast data resources in the quest for a more sustainable and efficient energy business.


Jawad Khan, CDAO, Tufts Medicine 

For too long, healthcare journeys have been disjointed, leaving patients and their caregivers with a frustrating experience that leads them to seek care elsewhere. To address this, Jawad Khan, Tufts Medicine’s CDAO, began to architect a modern data platform dubbed WIISE (Wellness Intelligence and Information Sharing Enablement) using the Databricks Lakehouse to eliminate the disparities between information systems and deliver patient data seamlessly to internal and external consumers. Khan’s team merged over 50 disparate electronic health records systems from over a dozen distinct EHR vendors, giving data analysts, for the first time, the ability to use a single query to search three decades of archives for over 4M patients’ records that had once been spread across different, proprietary databases. Innovative services that have resulted include WIISE Scheduler, an AI-based appointment scheduler matching patient symptoms to appropriate specialties, and persona-based dashboards and reports. Today, Tufts Medicine delivers on the vision of frictionless care to patients. Its common data model enables unprecedented access to decades of data, representing millions of patient records, across disparate legacy systems and operational data stores.


We will be announcing the award winners for each category at the Data and AI Summit on June 27th at 6:00 p.m. in the Expo Theater. We look forward to celebrating these amazing data teams with you there.

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