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The Chief Data Officer: Powering Business Opportunities with Data

Businesses on the leading edge have long recognized the importance of data and analytics to their growth strategies. Many are now investing in the role of Chief Data Officer (CDO) to drive their data management and governance initiatives.

In our latest research report, “The Chief Data Officer: Powering business opportunities with data,” we take a hard look at the complex and ever-evolving role of the CDO. With primary research and first-hand feedback from over 50 current CDO’s, this report provides insight on:

  • Why companies hire a CDO
  • The CDO’s primary areas of focus
  • The relationship between the CDO and CIO, and other members of the C-suite

As digital transformation continues to disrupt organizations, the demand to harness data as a business asset will only increase. Organizations today undoubtedly see the value in hiring a CDO, and those without a CDO understand the value in recruiting them. At organizations where there is not currently a CDO role, more than half of their CIOs (55%) say that they would like to see this role created in the next year.

In terms of organizations with a CDO, we expect to see an increased focus on enabling data analytics in the next year. To that end, the CDOs we spoke to are planning to invest in analytics tools (39%) in addition to hiring data analysts (65%). Other areas of investment over the next twelve months will include data management technology and third-party data, for which they will be hiring data scientists, data protection officers, and data stewards. All of this attention to embracing digital transformation is a good thing. Now more than ever, the chief data officer is proving to be an invaluable business asset. By being the de facto “guardian of data,” they can ensure their organizations leverage their data to its maximum potential, while doing so in a responsible and safe manner.

Research methodology

In June 2017, Experian Data Quality commissioned a research study to look at the evolving chief data officer (CDO) role and current data management practices. This report examines how CDOs fit into their organizations and how they view their responsibilities, particularly compared with findings from our 2015 report, “The Chief Data Officer: Bridging the gap between data and decision-making.” More than 200 CIOs and 50 CDOs in the U.S. took part in the research, produced by Insight Avenue for ExpTerian Data Quality. All 50 CDOs took part in a qualitative survey in tandem with this quantitative research. All participants were from companies with over 500 employees from a variety of industries, including manufacturing, professional services, financial services, retail, utilities, healthcare, and more.

Source: Experian Data Quality

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