Who is a Data Officer?

CDOs or Chief Data Officers is the person who is responsible for some of the most demanding tasks that are conducted by an organization. The amount of companies that apply big data to their businesses is only on the rise, aided by the popularity of IoT devices and Artificial Intelligence devices. Now when we talk about data, there are many different kinds of data that companies collect. But categorizing, organising and analyzing them is the whole point of collecting data. And that is the reason why companies employ CDOs. 

Put simply, the CDO stewards the large amounts of data that the company collects. Another role that coincides with a Chief Data Officer is the role of a Chief Information Officer. While both the posts require the candidate to be well versed with the management and analysis of Data, the CDO needs to be more focused in driving change and bringing a whole new level of experience that can be brought to them by looking at the way they use a service over a long period of time. 

How important are they to the Firms at this time? 

As mentioned before as more and more companies have started turning to digital means to conduct their business. The data the organizations are able to collect has become a very meaningful asset to the company. However, companies are in dire need of effective leadership to manage all of this data. It was estimated in 2012, that only 12% of the Fortune 1000 companies had a CDO. 

The Evolving Role of the Chief Data Officer: 

As the amount of data that the businesses have accumulated have increased, they have led to a gradual shift of the role of a Chief Data Officer from a person who used to manage and look after data to being directly involved with large scale business strategy. A CDO not only has to manage and take care of the data but he also needs to evaluate and access it so that he can lead a transformation and drive revolutionary change in the organization. This is why the CDO of every company is such a important person

In order to further sum this up what we can see is that each organisation is wanting to carry out 4 main actions in regards to big data: 

  • Finding different ways to collect Data 
  • Analyzing and deciding the value of different types of Data collected
  • Implementing and driving the change in the firm and causing the different departments of the business to modify and adapt. 
  • Assessing the most appropriate Business model, in order to find the best way of monetizing the Digital Transformation and the Data collection.

There are different people involved in these different roles, so let’s take a look at what type of person carries out each type of role: 

For the first role, we have the Chief Information Officer ( Or the CIO ) who comes under the category of being a technologist

The second t is the one carried out by a Chief Data Officer ( Or CDO ) and they generally come under the umbrella of a Data Scientist. 

The third role is the one performed by a Chief Digital Officer, who is considered to be the Innovator or the one who is responsible for the main Digital Transformation that occurs both Internally and Externally. 

Whereas the last role is one which is very business-oriented and does not have a lot to do with the data. He is considered to be a Business Strategist and is called the Chief Analytics Officer. 

In this way by dividing the whole process of collecting and making use of the data the companies are able to greatly impact their businesses and bring their customer interaction with the service to a whole new level. 

The CDO: A friend or a Foe? 

As we see that the Chief Data officer often gets to deal with Sensitive data that is private to the company and might lead to loss to the company if the data is shared with its competitors. Hence while the job of a Chief Data Officer is very necessary and important to modern businesses, it is also one that needs to be regularly monitored due to the extremely vulnerable nature of data.


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