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What is a chief data officer? A leader who creates business value from data

A chief data officer oversees a range of data-related functions to ensure your organization is getting the most from what could be its most valuable asset.


CIO | May 28, 2019


The CIO article, “What is a chief data officer? A leader who creates business value from data," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Justin Cerilli on why it's necessary for companies to realize that simply hiring a CIO is not going to immediately solve their problems; it's a process. The article is excerpted below.

The chief data officer role has been taking organizations by storm.

Capital One appointed the first chief data officer (CDO) in 2002. Only a few organizations followed suit in the decade that followed, but NewVantage Partners' Big Data Executive Survey 2018 found that 62.5 percent of senior Fortune 1000 business and technology decision-makers said their organization had appointed a chief data officer.

The chief data officer oversees a range of data-related functions that may include data management, ensuring data quality and creating data strategy. He or she may also be responsible for data analytics and business intelligence, the process of drawing valuable insights from data. Or some data management functions may fall to IT, and analytics may belong to a chief analytics officer, a title that some say is interchangeable with chief data officer.

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Often, the problem is unrealistic expectations from an employer. “The biggest mistake companies make is to expect that because they’ve hired someone the problem is solved,” says Justin Cerilli, who heads the data and analytics practice for consultancy Russell Reynolds Associates. “Actually, you’re just starting to solve the problem — the tough decisions are still to come. That’s when you start asking who our people are, what our processes are, and how do we change our culture. CEOs tell chief data officers to change everything to get the end results they want, but don’t want to change the way they do anything.”

To read the full article, click here.

 


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What is a chief data officer? A leader who creates business value from data