Blackbaud Newsroom

Blackbaud’s Carrie Cobb named to The Global Data Power Women List for 2023

Blackbaud is delighted to share that Chief Data Officer Carrie Cobb has been named to The Global Data Power Women List 2023. Presented by CDO Magazine, this list pays homage to extraordinary women who have made outstanding contributions to the data and analytics field, propelling innovation and shaping the future of industries worldwide.

“Carrie’s dedication, expertise and innovative thinking have been instrumental in Blackbaud’s success,” said Blackbaud Chief Technology Officer Kevin McDearis. “Her recognition on the Global Data Power Women List 2023 is well-deserved and highlights her invaluable contributions to the field. We are incredibly proud to have Carrie as a leader within our organization.”

“At Blackbaud, we build the essential software that frees customers to focus on delivering impact—and our powerful data intelligence is foundational to helping them focus on their purpose-driven, world-changing work,” said Cobb. “I am truly honored to count myself among so many other innovators and leaders on this list who are also harnessing the power of data to drive success for their customers.”

Carrie is an accomplished innovator and change-agent capable of translating multifaceted data and analytics products into successful business initiatives and consumer experiences. She holds over 20 years of experience in developing data-driven analytic solutions, with the goal of leveraging advanced analytic methodologies and artificial intelligence to create easy to execute strategies for the social good community.

As the Chief Data Officer at Blackbaud, Carrie leads the Data Intelligence Center of Excellence, and is responsible for Blackbaud’s AI and data strategy, vertical-focused product innovation, data science and informatics disciplines, and data governance and ethics. She serves as chair of the Advisory Council on Methodology for the Giving USA Foundation and serves on the Governmental Affairs Committee for the Nonprofit Alliance. As a proud military spouse, Carrie also serves on the board of directors for the Palmetto Military Support Group.

Carrie holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Coastal Carolina University, an M.S. in Strategic Management from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a Chief Data Officer Certificate from Carnegie Mellon University.

We took this opportunity to ask Carrie a few questions:

Q: Clearly, you are passionate about how data can transform the way social impact organizations work. What about AI? Tell us more about your vision and Blackbaud’s vision on the future of AI for social impact.

A: Blackbaud has become the operating system for organizations that improve the world. Our investment in AI over the past decade has infused intelligence into our systems of record, and our recently announced new investments into Generative AI will accelerate the ability for our social impact customers to act on that intelligence. We believe the social impact sector can go further, faster, as we harness the rapidly-expanding potential of artificial intelligence—together, responsibly.

Q: What are three things every social impact organization should be thinking about when it comes to their data or AI?

A: First, social impact organizations should learn about the technology and what that means for their organizations. For example, are there operational pain points that automation and AI systems could address? Second, to make the most effective use of this technology, it’s important to instill a data-driven culture that blends intuition and analytical insights with a focus on practical and actionable decisions across all levels. And, finally, I recommend building the appropriate governance and data ethics practices. It’s our collective responsibility to employ data, analytics and artificial intelligence in a socially beneficial manner.

Q: What is your advice for someone looking to start a career in data?

A: My advice is to talk to someone in a data role or shadow them, so you understand what a day in the life of a data-obsessed person is like. Data professionals are problem solvers and storytellers at heart. Cultivate a mindset that embraces curiosity, willingness to tackle tough challenges, and the ability to create compelling stories. And continuously learn—the field is constantly changing and evolving, with new tools and new techniques. Join online communities, follow blogs or experts, explore resources and trainings available—many are free.

Q: Finally, if you weren’t working at Blackbaud or in technology in general, and you could have any job in the world, what would it be and why? 

A: Since part-owner of the New England Patriots is likely off the table, I would say a sports documentary filmmaker. I love the personal stories behind some of the most amazing triumphs. 

To learn more about The Global Data Power Women List 2023 and see the full list of nominees, visit CDO Magazine’s award page