What are the opportunities for the Chief Data Officer?

evolution of the cdoOver the last 12 months, the number of Chief Data Officers in South Africa has increased just a handful, to nearly 20.

The role remains inconsistently defined – in some cases reporting directly to the CEO or COO, and in other cases seen as a more junior role, for example reporting into the CIO.

A recent FIMA (Financial Information Management) study highlights the challenges and opportunities facing the Chief Data Officer around the world.

Their research shows that the CDO is employed as companies recognise the relevance of sound data management to overall business health. The role helps companies to make sense of the complex, and growing tangle of information that, in many cases, faces corporations; provides a linchpin to drive data related compliance initiatives; and to provide a centralised point to manage enterprise data, improve operations and drive actionable intelligence.

The report, which can be downloaded here, provides insights from global CDOs covering:

  • The advent of data management 2.0
  • Defining the Critical Data Elements required for compliance
  • Increasing the effectiveness of the data management organisation
  • Keys to a scalable approach to data governance

As data management moves beyond defensive approaches – cost containment and compliance – towards enabling more offensive capabilities- such as predictive analytics – the Chief Data Officer will become an increasingly critical member of the executive team.

His (or her) key responsibilities will include:

  • Prioritizing and enabling business objectives through the use of data – delivering the biggest bang for the enterprise buck
  • Breaking down business silos and improving visibility of data issues through appropriate use of technology
  • Driving the transition from a reactive, audit driven approach to data, to a value driven, business case focused approach.

Increasingly, as the role evolves, strong interpersonal, communication and change skills are becoming far more critical to the success of the CDO than technical knowledge.

The evolved CDO probably does not belong in IT!

Get the FIMA report: Challenges and opportunities facing CDOs in 2017






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