The first Chief Data Officer (CDO) position was created inside Capital One in 2002. The number of companies having such a role today varies depending on which source you use — between 21% and 74% of those polled.
The CDO is a tangible representation of a company’s commitment to being data-driven. Many companies use this phrase as a tagline, mission, value, or internal mantra. However, few are able to achieve it. CDO roles can be mistakenly tucked under the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or Chief Information Officer (CIO), keeping the role of data subservient to the tools that produce and rely on it. Companies with a Chief Data Officer elevate the value of data to C-level attention and establish it as a value center for the business.
In the current world of business intelligence, companies are drowning in data and unsure of which buzzwords to follow in the industry. A CDO helps cut through the noise, tie business strategy to data strategy, and be a champion for data as the company’s most valuable asset. This means taking on multiple roles.
Dive into the multiple roles.
Most often, a CDO must be a change agent from outside the business in order to objectively and holistically see the organization’s data practices. They must stand apart from an established CTO or CIO in order to represent the critical role data plays in the business.
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