The Evolving Role of the Chief Data Officer

In recent years, there has been a significant rise in the appointments of Chief Data Officers (CDOs).

Although this role is still very new, Gartner predicts that 25 percent of organizations will have a CDO by 2017, with that figure rising to 50 percent in heavily regulated industries such as banking and insurance. Underlying this change is an increasing recognition of the value of data as an asset.

Last week the CDOForum held an event chaired by Dr. Shonali Krishnaswamy Head Data Analytics Department I2R, evaluating the role of the Chief Data Officer and looking into data monetization strategies and real-life Big Data case studies.

According to Debra Logan, Vice President and Gartner Fellow, the

Chief Data Officer (CDO) is a senior executive who bears responsibility for the firm’s enterprise wide data and information strategy, governance, control, policy development, and effective exploitation. The CDO’s role will combine accountability and responsibility for information protection and privacy, information governance, data quality and data life cycle management, along with the exploitation of data assets to create business value.

To succeed in this role, the CDO should never be “siloed” and work closely with other senior leaders to innovate and to transform the business:

  • With the Chief Operating Officers (COO) and with the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) on creating new business models, including data driven products and services, mass experimentation and on ways to acquire, grow and retain customers including personalization, profitability and retention.
  • With the COO on ways to optimize the operation, counter frauds and threats including business process operations, infrastructure & asset efficiency, counter fraud and public safety and defense.
  • With the Chief Information Officer (CIO) on ways to maximize insights, ensure trust and improve IT economics, including enabling full spectrum of analytics and optimizing big data & analytics infrastructure.
  • With the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) on ways to transform management processes including planning and performance management, talent management, health & benefits optimization, incentive compensation management and human capital management.
  • With the Chief Risk Officer (CRO), CFO and COO on managing risk including risk adjusted performance, financial risk and IT risk & security.

To unleash the true power of data, many CDOs are expanding their role as a way of expanding scope and creating an innovation agenda, moving from Basics (data strategy, data governance, data architecture, data stewardship, data integration and data management) to Advanced, implementing machine learning & predictive analytics, big data solutions, developing new products and services and enhancing customer experience.

Conclusion

Organizations have struggled for decades with the value of their data assets. Having a new chief officer leading all the enterprise-wide management of data assets will ensure maximum benefits to the organization.

 

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