eWEEKchat July 12: The Rise of the Enterprise Chief Data Officer

CDOs are pioneering a new organizational function—one to go alongside IT, business operations, HR and finance. Let's chat about this trend on July 12.

On Wednesday, July 12, at 11 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. GMT, @eWEEKNews will host its 57th monthly #eWEEKChat. The topic will be "The Rise of the Chief Data Officer and Its Importance to Enterprises." It will be moderated by Chris Preimesberger, eWEEK's editor of features and analysis.

Some quick facts:

Topic: "The Rise of the Chief Data Officer and Its Importance to Enterprises."

Date/time: July 12, 2017, 11 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. GMT

Moderator: Chris Preimesberger: @editingwhiz

Tweetchat handle: Use #eWEEKChat to follow/participate, but it's easier and more efficient to use real-time chat room links.

Chat room real-time links: We have two: http://tweetchat.com/room/eweekchat and http://www.tchat.io/rooms/eweekchat. Both work well. Sign in via Twitter and use #eweekchat for the identifier.

The Rise of the Chief Data Officer and Its Importance to Enterprises

One of the trendiest and most relevant new job classifications in the IT world is that of Chief Data Officer, the executive in charge of all a company's data. This means data creation and acquisition, integration, data "cleansing," storage, security and access, along with other responsibilities specific to each company.

After all, data is effectively a new currency for many enterprises—especially those who rely on customer and partner data to provide goods and services on a daily basis.

At the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo conference in Barcelona last winter, the research group released its 2016 Chief Data Officer Survey, conducted with 180 chief data officers, chief analytics officers and other high-level data and analytics leaders from across the world.

MIT First Set CDO Trend in Motion

MIT, which was credited with creating the CDO idea about fivve years ago, most recently said it believes there are more than 3,000 executives with a CDO or similar title. Only about 200 or so had that title three years ago.

Gartner's survey found that early adopters of the CDO role and the office of the CDO are in effect pioneering a new organizational function—one to go alongside IT, business operations, HR and finance.

Naturally, enterprises that have made the strategic decision to create the CDO position are expecting to get as much new value as possible. Thirty percent of the surveyed CDOs said they report directly to the CEO.

CDOs are adding to the competitiveness of their companies by contributing to strategic planning and decision making, and by leading digital business initiatives. As a result, Gartner predicts that, by 2020, 15 percent of successful CDOs will move into CEO, COO, CMO or other C-level positions.

The OCDO accommodates a wide range of roles emphasizing data and information management, data quality, business analytics and information architecture.

"Most CDOs said that their role will focus on two key responsibilities," said Mario Faria, a managing vice president at Gartner. "Sixty-seven percent of the respondents said they are acting as a champion or change agent in leading the organizational changes required to create and sustain enterprise data and analytics capabilities. Sixty-one percent are leading the effort to ensure that data and analytics are integrated into the business strategy and roadmap."

Most respondents said they have developed positive working relationships with IT leaders.

"While most early holders of the CDO role said they treat the CIO as an ally or partner (62 percent), the relationship between the CDO and the CIO will remain crucial," Faria said. "Strategy development, decision-making power and funding will be sources of contention between IT leaders and the OCDO as the role of the CDO becomes more broadly established."

These are just a few of the data points we'll talk about on July 12. We will pose questions such as:

--Is having a CDO really a no-brainer? Why haven't we had these jobs sooner?

--Does your company currently have a CDO or is planning on creating that office soon?

--What do you personally see as the No. 1 business advantage of having a CDO?

--Are there any disadvantages to having a CDO?

--How does your CDO interact with the CEO?  CIO?  CMO?

Join us July 12 at 11 a.m. Pacific/2 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. GMT for an hour. Chances are good that you'll learn something valuable.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he has...