In his latest book Data Strategy, analytics guru Bernard Marr, discusses how to profit from a world of big data, analytics and the internet of things. Marr breaks down the importance of having a data strategy to ensure data-driven decision-making, improve business operations and to monetize the data in a business.
One of the key takeaways from his book is the emerging role of Chief Data Officer. This is a separate C-Level Suite position form the more traditional Chief Technology Officer or Chief Information Officer as this person should serve as both an analytics cheerleader and data-driven decision-making champion.
Big companies have CDOs, but even smaller and medium sized companies need to have someone who acts in this role even if its not an official title. I often say that analysts have to not only analyze data, but be champions of using data for decision-making. They have to be the data cheerleaders to educate, enable, and empower the use of data and analytics across the organization.
There are six primary areas a CDO should oversee; (1) high level vision, (2) implementations, (3) data governance, (4) business opportunities, (5) data culture leader and (6) sees data as a commodity.
- CDOs have to have either a seat at the C-Suite table or the ear of the top decision-maker in the company. They are the ones who make sure that data is properly channeled to the right people at the right time to ensure data-driven strategies.
- CDOs have to be the one ultimately responsible for data project implementations. This is not an IT thing. IT should be involved, but not the owners of data and analytics.
- CDO’s have to make sure good data governance is followed. Data has to be stored, secure and accurate.
- CDO’s are the ones who have the task of discovering business opportunities and identifying risks. They should have access to all the data they need to do both.
- CDO’s are the ones who consistently and clearly articulate the importance of data and the value of data-driven decision-making.
- CDO’s see data for its monetary value. Data is a commodity that in itself can be used to not just help the company, but to generate revenue itself.
So if you have a Chief Data Officer, or just a chief data geek, you are on the right path. If you don’t have one of these in your organization then your organization are likely going to be left behind.
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