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Why Your Company Needs a CDO

By   /  March 3, 2014  /  No Comments

Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network 2013 - Istanbulby Angela Guess

Brad Peters of Forbes recently wrote, “Now that we are over the initial excitement of being able to capture and manipulate mountains of data, the challenge becomes identifying the truly valuable information in those data mountains. And just as important, presenting that valuable data in ways that the different stakeholders in an organization can actually use it to maximize their productivity. Enter the Chief Data Officer. In our last few columns, all of which received considerable attention, I looked at the rise of the CDO as the new C-level executive chartered to efficiently manage the distribution of the huge new streams of market, customer and other competitive information now flowing into the enterprise from the Big Data/Cloud revolution. What I have not yet done, and propose to do in this column, is to begin specifying just exactly what the CDO does.”

Peters continues, “I’ll begin with a definition: The primary task of the Chief Data Officer is to prepare incoming data in such a manner that it will be both understandable and usable for maximum productivity by every employee, at every level, in the enterprise. The duty of the CDO is to establish the infrastructure that presents data to the right people in the right way. This is a very different perspective from what is already becoming the standard view of the CDO. In that view, the CDO is the functional equivalent of the CIO, but for a company’s data as opposed to its systems. That view, I believe, is a mistake one that looks through the wrong end of the telescope and makes the CDO just another part of the problem.”

He adds, “The data is already there; these days it is pouring into the enterprise through every cable and router. The challenge is not in diverting those streams of unrefined data to the proper recipients – that’s the digital equivalent of aiming a fire hose at every office in the company. Rather, the real challenge is in converting that data into something each employee can use for maximum impact, right now. The CDO must be the orchestrator of all of this.”

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