King of the Hill? The Perils and Possibilities for a CDO

February 25th, 2016

The role of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) continues to gain attention and proliferate as more companies hire them, and others wonder with increasing anxiety whether they should, too. The promise of data and the business value it can unlock is tantalizing, but also somewhat confusing to many organizations — the role of the CDO is, too.

Last February, I wrote a report examining the themes and trends I noticed in how CDOs were performing their jobs at that time. A year later, the very most frequently asked question I get has to do with the CIO: what is the difference between the Chief Data Officer and the Chief Information Officer, and does a company needs both? I also get asked about the unusual collection of skills required to perform the role well: where to look for them, for those wishing to hire a CDO, and how to get them, for those wishing to become one.

The key to answering both of these questions lies in the executive nature of the CDO role. We’re used to finance and operations playing in the so-called C-suite, but with CTOs, CIOs, and now CDOs in the mix, there is understandably some uncertainty as to what all those technological roles are doing in the board room, and even doubt as to whether they all need to be there. (Hint: they do, if you’re using them properly.)

I discussed these and other questions in an episode of DM Radio called, “King of the Hill? The Perils and Possibilities for a CDO.” Register here to listen on-demand. The talk includes host Eric Kavanagh, as well as Dez Blanchfield of The Bloor Group, Joe Caserta of Caserta Concepts, and Brad Peters of Birst.

For more background on the role of the Chief Data Officer and more trends and observations, download the free report here. Also, keep an eye out for a second edition of the report coming later this year!