Slideshow The Data Governor: A Day on the Job with CNA's SVP of Shared Services

  • February 21 2013, 10:55am EST
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The Data Governor

Nate Root, CNA's SVP of Finance - Shared Services, follows a set of principles to facilitate good governance and improve data quality for the 116-year-old insurer.


Root has been with CNA since 1994, when he joined as an entry-level actuary. Now he has an $8 million budget accountability and a staff of 60. He and the Shared Services team partner with the CIO and IT for development and infrastructure services. He's also now responsible for Merlin, the enterprisewide business intelligence system, data governance and PeopleSoft financials.

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"We spend a lot of time making sure we speak honestly with each other, are transparent and know where we're going. But that takes a lot of discipline," Root says. (From left: John Quigley, AVP - Systems Development, Root and Dan McDonnell, VP - IT, reviewing status and next steps for dozens of CNA technology projects.)

Relationships and data quality

“The P&C insurance industry is about relationships, it’s about relationships between us, as the carrier, and the agent; and the agent and the insured. Those are very foundational relationships and the better those relationships, the better the overall structure is. And the data quality is the same, it’s the relationship between actuarial and claim and IT and underwriting. If that relationship is strong, driving data quality is much easier," Root says.

Taking a long view

"One of the hardest parts of the job is that we are undertaking very difficult problems and there are going to be bumps along the road, no matter what you do," Root says (with Jennifer Roth-Martinez, CNA's Director of Media Relations.)