AWS Executive Insights / ...
A Conversation with Colleen Camuccio, VP Program Management, Dow Jones
Dow Jones is a global provider of news and business information, delivering content to consumers and organizations around the world across multiple formats, including print, digital, mobile, and live events.
Dow Jones has produced unrivaled quality content for more than 130 years and today has one of the world’s largest newsgathering operations globally. It produces leading publications and products including the flagship Wall Street Journal, America’s largest newspaper by paid circulation; Factiva, Barron’s, MarketWatch, Mansion Global, Financial News, Dow Jones Risk & Compliance, Dow Jones Newswires, and Dow Jones VentureSource.
The truth is in there
In many ways, Colleen Camuccio has been on a quest to find the truth, at least as it pertains to a major global news and business information dynamo. That might sound abstract, even academic, but it’s not. Colleen knows that the truth is in the data. Simple enough, but when you consider the reach and influence of Dow Jones, the word “mountains” doesn’t come close to describing its data count.
For the last few years, one of Colleen’s big objectives has been to help create the company’s Customer Data Platform. Perhaps not a flashy project title, but in terms of its promise, it’s downright poetic. In fact, when she talks about the platform, she lights up.
“We’ve built the foundation of our platform using AWS technology,” Colleen says, “and filled our data lake with terabytes and terabytes of data that is cleaned, cataloged, and ready for mining and machine learning.”
Colleen and her teams are building out an analytics sandbox using tools like S3, Jupyter notebook instances, and Amazon SageMaker. She tells us that Dow Jones’ users are chomping at the proverbial bit to comb through all that data and start curating their own insights.
Once this project is complete, there are plans to conduct a company-wide hackathon and let users loose on the data to see what they can come up with. What questions will they ask? What answers will they find? “It’s all very exciting stuff for a company that has relied on information since the nineteenth century!”
Colleen describes how Dow Jones is using AWS to turn their data system from a cost center to a revenue generating center (48:21)
People are the priority
Data and how Dow Jones uses it isn’t the only thing on Colleen’s mind. Not so long ago, it used to be a question of “Is there a technology that can solve this problem?” Now, the problem is knowing which technology to invest in, and how to prioritize those investments.
“I am a business person who trends very technical, so I still look at everything with a business-focused lens,” she says. “I look at a technology investment from the perspective of the value it can bring us as a business. But I also think of the value to the broader Dow Jones community.” What gratifies Colleen the most is giving her colleagues a way to make their jobs easier—even more so if they can learn a new skill and round out their resumes.
"I want to show my team that I am not afraid to roll up my sleeves and get down into the weeds if that is what is needed to be successful. I prefer to lead by example."
A leader, a reader
Colleen’s favorite Amazon leadership principle is, “Dive deep: Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.”
Very early on in her career, Colleen managed people only in areas in which she had direct experience. Since then, she’s moved on to manage people who have skills that she might not have. That doesn’t stop her. She still shows her team that she’s not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get down into the weeds if that’s what’s needed to be successful. “I prefer to lead by example,” she says.
How does she do it? Colleen describes herself as a reader, but she’s also highly visual. “Sometimes the best way for me to learn about new concepts, and especially technology, is to grab a dry-erase marker, a whiteboard, find a subject-matter expert, and jump into questions.” She wants to hear from the ones doing it every day, the people who intimately understand the idea. That brings her to a verbal and visual understanding of the basics, and she can go as far as she wants from there. That’s diving deep.
Even with a demanding job, Colleen still makes time to care for health and family. “My morning starts at 5:00 a.m. with messages from the night before, so I can get up to speed. Then I head to the gym.”
Following email and exercise, her three kids are still snoozing. One of her favorite moments of the day is to wake them and coax them into the kitchen, where she prepares breakfast (and later, dinner, too, just for good measure). “Over breakfast, I get a quick glimpse into the lives of elementary-school children before we all rush out the door for school. Then I stop for my preferred cup of coffee and enjoy a peaceful, hour-long commute into the office.”
On International Women’s Day, Colleen decided to kick off a social media campaign to build excitement about her girls’ sports program. She spent hours sending out emails and made multiple posts on various social media platforms asking people to post pictures of their fierce daughters doing what they do best. “I encouraged users to post with #wbatoughgirls to drive recognition to our organization,” she says. Throughout the day, she kept checking; it turned out she only got one post. True to form, Colleen made it a learning moment: “While probably the most failed social media campaign of all time, I am using the experience to fuel my desire to be bigger and better next year!”
How Dow Jones is addressing data and analytics challenges by building a world-class data platform for customer data (58:53)
About our guest
Vice President, Program Management, Dow Jones
Colleen is a Marketing Operations professional in the publishing industry with both campaign execution and e-commerce experience specializing in new customer acquisition and existing customer retention.
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