Reporting to senior leadership, the CDO is the data leader responsible for evolving data practices to better support the organizational mission.
Improving organizational data practices extends the CDO’s responsibilities to every knowledge worker in the organization. Empowering knowledge workers with better data practices is the single most important productivity improvement that organizations can make. The CDO is responsible for growing not just an organizational data team but for operationalizing an organization-wide conversation and focus on data innovation, improvement, and value.
The CDO establishes, fiduciary responsibilities through stewardship, aimed at leveraging data assets and organizational capabilities and creating a climate of data sharing. Some of this can be accomplished by leading the organizational data governance program to effectiveness. The data leader will be required to understand how to appropriately incorporate change management capabilities to the substantive people, process, and ethical challenges that will support the new data focus.
As an organization’s sole, non-depletable, non-degrading, non-rivalrous strategic asset, its data has likely been suffering from data debt. The CDO must nurture programs to improve useful subsets of organizational data and simultaneously reduce the impact of data debt. Data volume and debt necessitate prioritization and the CDO must incorporate a strategic approach to improving the value of an organization’s data.
For data’s true value to become apparent, it needs to be understood as a defined part of the organizational value chain. The CDO is responsible for appropriate aspects of monetization to the organizations data. This requires architecting organizational data requirements in the context of present and future business operations. These requirements identify data products directly supporting business value.
(There are more Chief Digital Officers than there are Chief Data Officers.)