Michael Baraz


Passionate, innovative, curious, continuous learner, information executive leading defining the art of the possible and aligning strategy, capabilities, security, and privacy, leading and motivating people to deliver successful, high value/high impact outcomes. Uses Design Thinking to combine pragmatic business acumen with technical depth, transforming and implementing scalable information governance, quality, strategy and architecture, information management, advanced analytics, and cloud platforms using proven and emerging technologies driving top-line and bottom-line impacts in insurance, banking, financial, real estate, health, utilities, energy, and safety organizations.

Core Competencies

ü Strategy and Roadmap

ü Business Intelligence

ü Data Governance Program

ü Data Privacy and Security

ü Cloud Security and Computing

ü Data Quality and Profiling

ü Metadata and Glossary Management

ü Master Data Management

ü AWS and Azure Cloud Analytics Platform

ü Digital Transformation Leadership

ü Team Building and Development

ü Agile Scrum Project Management

ü Portfolio and Program Management

ü Stakeholder Engagement

ü Ideation and Funding Projects

Professional Experience

Head of Global Finance Data Office (consultant)                                                          April 2020 – March 2023

Walgreens Boots Alliance | Deerfield, IL

Part of the Finance transformation executive leadership as a change agent to reorganize department using SAP S4, SAP BW, and the Finance Analytics Platform for executive leadership dashboards, reporting, and financial modeling, advanced analytics, and data science on Microsoft Azure with ADLS, Power BI, and Snowflake. Created data strategy, data governance, and quality program, executive data council, “citizen data” stewardship, enriched business glossary, provenance/data lineage, data quality, master data management, data classification, data privacy, data standards, data audit, compliance, and other uses. Implemented value-based demand management process for intake, evaluation, prioritizing, funding, and staffing initiatives. Acquired and implemented Collibra data governance and Ataccama data quality tools for business glossary, report catalog, metric/KPI catalog business rules, data quality rules, data models, architecture, etc. Accelerated financial modeling, analytics, and other data consumers time-to-value with monetization and innovative data products, while assuring compliance and risk management as part of Business Process Improvement. Instituted data sharing and entitlement controls. Capabilities provide $3-4M annually in cost aversion on consulting projects alone.

Created the Finance Data Council to align strategies, roadmap, and execution.  Led a team of 6 direct and 12 indirect reports and responsible for business and technical data stewardship and SME activities in areas of the Finance business area.

Designed program to increase time-to-insights, time-to-value, and time-to-market. Program in partnership with FP&A and Tax to cut 30,000 hours off report production and 10,000 hours off preparation of returns, respectively, bringing more than $7M annually in savings.

Global Head of Data Governance and Data Quality                                                  June 2019 – February 2020

AXIS Capital | Chicago, IL

Reported to Chief Data Officer. Reorganized enterprise data governance and quality functions creating a hybrid enterprise/federated operating model. Led 11 direct reports. Established relationships with line-of-business functions and created workgroups to bring value to data, aligning and negotiating within and across LOBs and project teams. Created and developed data governance framework. Led team to qualify, assess, negotiate, and purchase Collibra as a strategic data governance tool to define, catalog, automate processes, profile, lineage diagram, data policies, data sharing agreements, and orchestrate group goals and execution, for internal and external (third-party) data. Instituted performance metrics for governance and quality functions to validate success. Created issues management processes and tools. Created privacy management capabilities to identify, catalog, and tag sensitive data for GDPR, CCPA, et al, compliance. Created service for all common reference data using MDM hub for publisher/subscriber distribution and real-time web-services access; oversee prioritization by business value. Successes of data initiatives improved efficiencies of top-level financial operations saving 11,500 hours annually.

VP, Head of Information Architecture and Governance                                         April 2016 – September 2018

Gallagher Bassett Services | Rolling Meadows, IL

Reported to Chief Architect. Responsible for the vision, strategy, and management of information assets, to enable high-value data consumers and for the architecture, security, and implementation of hybrid on-premises and multi-cloud platforms. Assure HIPAA and GDPR compliance in claims, payer, and third-party administration in worker's compensation (healthcare), commercial and personal lines. Prepare readiness for CCPA.

Created data governance program to support “citizen data” stewardship, enriched business glossary, provenance/data lineage, analytics on data usage, profiling, security and privacy, compliance, and other uses. Responsible for proposing, securing funding, and staffing project. This approach accelerated realization of modelers, analytics, and other data consumers time-to-market with monetization and innovative data products.

Created cloud data strategy and led design of a FISMA moderate cloud architecture to support a data lake from internal and external sources on AWS using machine learning/artificial intelligence, and text analytics. Full build-out creates a hybrid solution with AWS, Microsoft Azure, and on-premises platforms with identity management, single-sign on, and virtualized access services via web services and direct access. Responsible for proposing, securing funding, and staffing project. Led vendors teams implementing architecture. Co-lead on building microservice architecture to exchange data within and with trading partners.

Technology Strategy Lead (Consultant)                                                                       March 2015 – March 2016

State Farm Bank | Bloomington, IL

Organized and led team of five to create an information technology strategy initiating the Technology Strategy Office to govern operational, compliance, analytics, and business performance management systems. Developed a roadmap that specified implementing an application integration hub, synchronizing customer information and their transactions across the various banking service offerings on the various vendor-managed platforms. The goal was to create a dashboard so that a customer would see all their current account information in real-time one place,

Enterprise Information Architect (Consultant)                                                            May 2014 – February 2015

Underwriters Laboratories, LLC | Northbrook, IL

Led architecture for a complete digital transformation, converting more than 100 years of engineering safety tests to a library capable of generating engineers with guidance for new client product testing. This was used in recommendation engine to develop test plans and increase turn-around to customers by 5-10 times and saving weeks of engineering. This delighted customers by enabling them to bring products to market much more quickly and substantially decreased their costs. Developed Enterprise Information Architecture to achieve the vision for engineers to mine and leverage historical customer product test results stored in various unstructured text and scanned-image documents in a Big Data Hub to unlock and maximize reuse in customer product testing and component library and analytics. Identified information capability gaps, defined and aligned Information Architecture with other Enterprise Architecture disciplines, i.e. Integration Architecture, Application Architecture and Technical Architecture, and the management and governance.

Enterprise Information Architect (Consultant)                                                                   June 2012 – May 2014

JLL | Lombard, IL

Reported to Chief Technology Officer. Led information innovation strategy and vision for enabling strategic biz value and line-of-business applications, master data management (MDM), data integration, data virtualization, metadata management, and governance, to allow operations teams to work across accounts teams and platform. Working closely with CIO, develop IT innovation strategy, gap analysis, roadmap, business case development and investment decisions and support frequent mergers and acquisitions. Architect and engineer of MDM and Data Integration hub synchronizing major line-of-business and enterprise applications enabling and optimizing Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Property and Markets with multiple global mission-critical applications.

Data Governance Lead (Consultant)                                                                            October 2011 – June 2012

BP U.S. Pipeline and Logistics | Naperville, IL

Responsible for developing the information strategy and vision for aligning business strategy for global enterprise with strategic and line-of-business applications, master data management (MDM), geospatial data, data integration, data virtualization, metadata management, data quality and profiling, data modeling, and data governance. Created gap analysis, roadmap, business case development, investment decisions, and support frequent mergers and acquisitions.

Data Governance Program Lead (Consultant)                                                       February 2011 – October 2011

Bank of the West, BNP Paribas | San Francisco, CA

Reported to Chief Risk Officer. Worked with lines of business leaders to define a data strategy to enable regulatory and operational management and analytics requirements. Defined and prioritized business needs and requirements for EDW for credit risk and Basel II compliance. Used COBIT compliance framework for auditability, security, risk management, and Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC). Developed Master Data Management approach using a federated model, create a proof-of-concept. Led business and EDW team of 22 direct and indirect reports to put data governance around financial, operational and derived data elements. Created a conformed semantic model based on risk architecture and business intelligence with analytics needs.

Data Strategy Principal                                                                                        August 2010 – December 2010

Maven Wave Partners LLC | Chicago, IL

Data Strategy for Nike, a leading consumer-products company. Co-lead in a business-driven strategic blueprint for technology-based services that provide deep insights to consumer preferences and behaviors based on inferences, affinities and correlations from biometric devices and customer profiles.

Data Management Lead for CIT Bank, a commercial banking institution. Performed end-to-end assessment of the enterprise and business units' operational and reporting applications and data architecture. Created the Enterprise Data Governance program with an executive council governing people, processes and tools to manage the program to assure data is controlled in an assured accurate and timely manner.

Enterprise Architect/Data Strategy (Consultant)                                                     February 2010 – August 2010

American Access Casualty Company| Oakbrook Terrace, IL    

Developed strategic capabilities within the IT department, advanced the maturity of the department to provide scalability in systems, and improved software development methods to ensure best practices in application and data architecture for future capabilities and growth. Designed new application server platform architecture with failover and load-balancing as well as improved network and application security. Developed new application architecture using Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) via web services. Developed master data management (MDM) architecture.

Senior Principal Data Architect                                                                        November 2007 – February 2010

STA Group | Chicago, IL

Enterprise Information Architect consultant to Aetna Insurance, Hartford, CT. Responsible for defining IT strategy and architecture in terms of the enterprise capabilities in full lifecycle of use of data, assessing the current state, developing a future state architecture. Created blueprints for Quote and Rating, Claims and auto-adjudication/auto-pay domains application refreshes. Used MEGA enterprise architecture modeling tool to capture data architecture and relate to systems. Created conceptual and logical models, used Universal Data Model reference model.

Data Architect consultant to State Farm Insurance, Bloomington, IL. Enabled enterprise Data Model management for entity-relational diagrams for transactional systems and star schema models for data warehouses, defined logical model standards, defined physical model standards. Created and delivered course to select Data Warehouse team members, Agile for Data Professionals to improve, evangelize Agile to data teams.

EDUCATION, CERTIFICATIONS and Professional Participation

Chief Data Officer Certificate, Carnegie Mellon University

Object Management Group Insurance Working Group – develop/maintain industry reference models (on-going)

Collibra Data Governance Center, multiple certificates

Global Business Services (GBS) 2.0 Hackett Group Accreditation Service Management Certification

AWS Well-Architected Certificate

Certified Information Security Specialist, Data Management Institute

Certified Data Protection Specialist, Data Management Institute

Post-Graduate Studies in Data Science, Johns Hopkins University

Scrum Master, Scrum Alliance

TOGAF Enterprise Architect Certification, The Open Group Architecture Foundation

Master’s of Business Administration (MBA), Florida International University, Miami, FL

Bachelor’s of Business Administration (BBA), Finance and Management Information Systems (majors), Computer Science (minor), Florida International University, Miami, FL