Are Chief Data Officers Set To Play A Bigger Role In Strategic Planning?


The decisions made by C-suite executives at the the vast majority of today’s enterprises are relying more heavily on business intelligence insights. Analytics now play a bigger role in strategic planning than ever before.

The rise of the CDO

With the shear amount of data that can be harvested by even modestly sized companies, the wealth of information can ultimately lead to better decisions being made. However, are organizations doing enough to allow their Chief Data Officers (CDO) a say in enterprise strategy?

For the time being at least, the answer appears to be no. According to a prediction from Gartner, only one in four companies will have a CDO in full-time employment by the end of 2015. This is a critical oversight and one that the most progressive businesses should address, if they fall into the majority that aren’t actively looking to do so.

IBM has proclaimed the CDO as ‘the new hero of data insights and analytics’ in an executive report. The tech giant explained that while many businesses see the power of improved business intelligence and big data, actually directing them towards better decisions remains a challenge.

The CDO can bridge that gap. Acting as a custodian of data, the CDO provides the rest of the C-suite with context, structure and can relay information more effectively.

This allows information to be a critical strategic asset, not just a mass of untapped potential.

Data insights create winners and losers

As the age of big data really takes hold, organizations will have to embrace the fact that a broad understanding of information and how it can be relayed back into the decision-making process will differentiate the winners and losers across a plethora of sectors.

By region, the US is leading the way with over 65 per cent of companies that have a CDO in place calling the country home, according to Gartner. The UK is in second place with 20 per cent, and the rest of the globe represents the remaining 15 per cent.

Those statistics show how new the role of the CDO is, but as more organizations are flooded with data, they will likely need to adopt and embrace the position or fail to use all of their information effectively.