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Chief Data Officers: why are they vital for companies?

With the growing importance of data management, data protection and analytical competence, CEOs are trying a number of different methods to help their companies meet the challenges. This is when Chief Data Officers are making a difference.

A common approach is to add a new position, Chief Data Officer (CDO), capable of addressing data management, integration and utilization challenges.

What is and why did the position of Chief Data Officer?

You have to go back in time to understand where the need for the CDO came from. With the advent of the internet, everyone had information about everything, and information grew exponentially.

Although information offers many benefits, the right infrastructure must be built to capture data. You need to be able to access and extract data, and then convert it into information.

Thus, the Chief Data Officer was born as an attempt to create a bridge between functional leaders who need real-time information and the IT department.

In a perfect world, functional business leaders(Sales Ops, HR, marketing) would be the “owners” of their information. The CDO would investigate platforms and security, and then create an environment to allow each functional user to access the information they needed.

Chief Data Officers are most effective when there is a software system that allows the end user to perform analysis outside the system. The role is then to find the right BI platform.

This way you can transform data into information, with the aim of democratizing ‘data’.

These professionals exploit data analysis to support operational improvements for IT, marketing, risk management, compliance, production and finance, as well as digital revenue generation.

Which companies are CDOs for?

The first companies to adopt the Chief Data Officer were in the B2C segment, because of the huge amount of data they managed.

As a result, this type of role exists mainly in Fortune 1000 companies or in new companies that are more progressive. Larger institutions tend to be able to absorb the extra expense of hiring a CDO.

Considering that the Chief Data Officer is a senior executive responsible for the company’s information strategies, governance, control, policy development and effective exploitation, he or she will have great relevance within contemporary organizations.

In short, the role of the CDO will combine responsibility for information protection and privacy, information governance, data quality and data lifecycle management, along with the exploitation of data assets to create business value.


Is there a rivalry between CDO and CIO?

The question is very common, but rivalry should not exist, considering that they carry out different activities.

The Chief Data Officer plays the role of risk management, compliance, policy management and the business role. It thus directs the information and analysis strategy, serving a commercial purpose.

On the other hand, CIOs must manage IT resources and organizations, infrastructure, applications and the people involved in the area.

In essence, the CDO is like a “glue” between the data strategy and the metrics.

Professional in practice: success story

Mark Gambill, CMO of MicroStrategy, says that there is a B2C company in the Midwest of the United States that was struggling with how to manage data in remote locations.

They wanted to ensure that the data was available in remote locations because it gave them more control. However, the organization was faced with some significant problems:

  • Três armazéns diferentes;
  • Grupos usando diferentes ferramentas de automação;
  • Diferentes bancos de dados que abrigavam diferentes dados;
  • Direitos diferentes aos dados.

The Chief Data Officer came in and merged everything to ensure that the system was efficient. They unified the data and created the right rules and governance.

This has resulted in a more controlled environment for managing and sharing critical information such as KPIs. With this system, the CDO ensured that the right people had access to the right data on their own computers, without the need to ask the IT team to obtain the data.

About Eval

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