Episode 15: How to Make Your Data More Meaningful and Turn It Into Usable Intelligence with Cecil Pineda

May 04, 2022

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Episode Summary

Data is the backbone of today’s digital world. And there’s a vast amount of raw and unprocessed data that can help businesses make more informed decisions.

But with the huge amount of data available, the main focus is to understand how to turn it into usable intelligence.

In this episode of the Dr. Dark Web podcast, our host Chris Roberts welcomes Cecil Pineda, the SVP/CISO at R1 RCM. They talk about making data more meaningful, why there’s rarely enough time for everything in data security, and the importance of nurturing your connections.


💡 Name: Cecil Pineda

💡 What he does: He’s the SVP/CISO at R1 RCM.

💡 Company: R1 RCM

💡 Noteworthy: Cecil is also a co-founder of CISO XC. Additionally, he works with dozens of CIOs, CISOs, and CPOs from Fortune 1000 organizations on their programs, plans, and roadmaps.

💡 Where to find Cecil: Twitter

Key Insights 

Data requires attention and time. If you want to make data meaningful, you’ve got to convert it into usable intelligence. However, with so much data out there, it’s become difficult to analyze it and put it to good use. Cecil says, “On a day-to-day basis, I’ll probably get a minimum of two or three dozen emails from all our partners — from Microsoft to CISA. There’s so much noise. […] There are too many sources. We’re still trying to figure out that happy middle. The problem with too many data sources is also that we don’t have time to analyze and do actionable work to address them. It’s difficult.”

Time is of the essence. One of the burning issues with data analysis and processing is that there’s not enough time for it. Cecil explains, “We spend a lot of time in meetings. [There is] a lot of PowerPoint and putting some animations here and there. There’s really no time. And it’s really a matter of a combination of tools and people. I’m really lucky to work where I do because I’m being supported by my leadership for tools. […] Sometimes, I feel like we’re losing the bigger-picture work doing all this. People have no time. And I launched a new project this morning. I said, ‘Do you really have time for it?’ We don’t have time. And we’re hoping for automation, people, process — those buzzwords. It’s hard.”

You can’t do everything on your own. Instead of trying to do everything on your own, accept help and support whenever you need it. Cecil says, “I think one of the things I actually thought that I could do without support is being able to do it myself. Two ways. One is, it takes a village, both internally and externally. I wouldn’t be a CISO if I didn’t go out there and help some CEOs and CISOs. […]  I have so many friends now. Look at you guys. You’re all my friends now. A CISO 12 years ago was like a nobody; I didn’t go out there and promote myself. What I did is — I collaborated. I shared the tools I developed. I developed a privacy program in 2008. I created a generic version and asked for advice on how to make it better. And the people who benefited from those assessment toolkits that I developed and those programs I developed — they came back to me and were like, ‘Wow, they actually helped me in my career.'”