Why do you need a Chief Data Officer?

The Chief Data Officer mission is to help set up a data strategy and coordinate the effort of the data engineering team. The CDO should explain the strategic value of data and its importance as a business asset and revenue driver to: executives, employees, and customers. Chief data officers are leaders that establish authority help secure budget and resources, and monetize their organization’s data asset.

The role of the CDO is new, but one convenient way of looking at this role is to regard this person as the main defender and pivot element of an organization’s data innovation team. The CDO should put forward plans to perform data automation, business processes innovation, to help deliver better service to customers,

By 2020, 50% of leading organizations have CDOs with similar levels of strategy influence and authority as CIOs. CDOs can establish a leadership role by aligning their priorities

with those of their organizations. To a great extent, the role is about change management. CDOs first need to define the role and manage expectations by considering the resources made available to them.

Despite the recent buzz around the concept of CDOs, in practice it has proven to be difficult for them to secure anything other than moderate budgets and limited resources when reporting into existing business units, like IT. Moreover, with usually only a handful of personnel, the CDO group must operate virtually by tagging onto, and inserting themselves into, existing projects and initiatives throughout the organization. This, of course, isn’t an optimal setup when it comes to proving the value of the CDO function. For the CDO function to truly pay off, you need to break up the silos and optimize the company structures around the data. It’s all about splitting up the scope of responsibility for your IT department so that you can separate out the data assets from the technology assets and let the CDO take ownership of the data and information part, as well as the full data science cycle when there is no CAO role appointed.