The Chief Data Officer role is a business leadership role. It’s accountable for the definition and execution of an organisation strategy and plan that delivers incremental business value through the application of data and analytics.
Using data has always been about driving value in your business. Sometimes that’s like a defensive play or an offensive play, but ultimately the successful day-to-day leaders over the last 10 years have harnessed data, applied insights to business problems, business situations, business opportunities, that help organisations make better decisions because of the access to the data that they have and the access to insight that that data can produce.
In most organisations, having a Chief Data Officer (CDO) by name only is like having a paper cut-out of a person trying to help you push a heavy object up a steep hill.
The CDO needs to have clarity of accountability so that they can have clarity of purpose about what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and they need to have influence. It cannot be a role in name only – someone who isn’t able to drive an agenda. It can’t be someone who doesn’t have the backing of the organisation. It can’t be someone that isn’t able to drive influence or isn’t in a position of impact.
Because data cuts across so many different departments, technologies, and pieces of an organisation internally and externally, it’s really important that they’re able to:
Over the last 12 to 18 months or so, particularly through the pandemic, there has been a huge increase in organisations wanting to properly build a strategy around their data.
This is driven largely by the awakening, that data and insight in an organisation and insight into the business, into the customers, into the performance, really helped to trade through uncertain times. The continuing uncertainty is the only thing that’s certain.
So the ability to understand what’s going on, by using insights to help drive the decisions is going to be increasingly important.
This has led to an equal increase in organisations wanting to have the right level of type of people who are able to take charge and deliver on the promise that all of the opportunity that data can bring.
Regardless of whether it’s a board-level position or otherwise putting the right people in the right structure, the right strategy and the right leadership in place, and building the right energy and attention to the topic of data and its associated impact is what’s going to be at the heart of business growth, in the coming years. As the emergence of the CDO role and the maturity of the CDO role begins to take hold and fix.
Want to know more about this topic? Listen to this episode of Hub & Spoken