Do You Need a CDO for Successful Analytics?

By Roger Nolan

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The C-suite is growing quickly as larger enterprises define more senior roles. Many of the newest roles are technology-based, such as chief digital officers, chief analytics officers, chief information security officers, chief automation officers, and more. As data becomes increasingly crucial to success in all industries, one of the fastest-growing new C’s has been the Chief Data Officer.

Three or four years ago, almost all the CDOs I knew of were in highly regulated industries and very focused on regulatory compliance. More recently, I’ve noticed a big uptick in Chief Data Officers in a wider range of industries, and while compliance is still part of that, the role is growing. More recently, the role of CDO is focusing on managing data for competitive advantage – particularly for modernization, digital transformation and new business initiatives.

InformationWeek wrote about the changing CDO role, and laid out some of the arguments for growth and expansion. From Informatica’s vantage point, we certainly see the increasing trend toward digitization that has more and more companies focusing on data. To name just a few:

  • Once considered a traditional telephony company, AT&T now describes itself as a “data services” company.
  • GE is changing from an industrial company to a company that leases equipment and uses data and analytics to ensure that the equipment is running efficiently.
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center is combining genomic data and operational data to provide highly-personalized approaches to cancer treatment.
  • Jones Lang Lasalle is building data analytics into almost all of its services for finding, acquiring, and managing commercial real estate.

These kinds of business initiatives require great data to be successful. And increasingly, that data needs to come from a wide variety of sources within and outside of the organization.

The role of the CDO

The Chief Data Officer has to cut through all the data silos and fiefdoms that tend to lock up data within an organization, make data a shared resource, and align the data strategy with the business strategy. Beyond that, the definition of this very new role can vary widely. Effective CDOs will need to work with all the business units across the company to come up with a data strategy. They will also need to work closely with senior IT management and Architects to ensure that the technical systems being implemented support the data strategy.

The Chief Data Officer and Chief Analytics Officer have closely aligned, but distinct, roles. I went to a conference of CAOs a few months back and they were debating whether the CAO and the CDO should be the same person. The answer is an emphatic “no.” The CDO is responsible for far more than just analytics, and should be seen as a peer with related but distinct interests. Neither can be successful without the other.

Both the CAO and CDO support the business strategy, and the delivery of business value. The CDO creates the environment in which the CAO can derive the insights that grow the business. Therefore, the CDO and CAO must be able to translate Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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