Press Release

STAMFORD, Conn., February 11, 2016 View All Press Releases

Gartner Identifies Four Types of Chief Data Officer Organization

Many CDOs Are Not Aware of How to Successfully Design Their Organization

The rapid adoption of the chief data officer (CDO) role — from 400 in 2014 to 1,000 in 2015 — raises important questions about the structure and positioning of the office of the CDO in organizations. There are four organizational design principles that CDOs should apply when designing their office, according to Gartner, Inc.

"The organizational design of the office of the CDO must clearly take account of the role that data is expected to play in the organization," said Mario Faria, research vice president at Gartner. "Most CDOs, however, are new to the role and often have little experience with managing large teams or designing and changing organizational structures."


To help CDOs and other business leaders meet the needs of their organization and structure the office of the CDO appropriately, Gartner identified four value propositions for the office of the CDO.

"There's no one correct way to design a CDO office — its structure and strength depends on how it is used by the evolving organization," said Mr. Faria. "In Gartner's model, the organizational design depends on four possible ways to organize and exploit the benefits of data within the business." Figure 1 shows these four approaches.

Figure 1: Possible Value Propositions of the Office of the CDO

Possible Value Propositions of the Office of the CDO

Source: Gartner (February 2016)

  • CDO Organization as an Engine Room: The office of the CDO delivers operational data services that are focused on the needs of the internal users. It succeeds by monitoring any data market developments and building expertise in data asset usage, information management and analytics.
  • Everyone's CDO Organization: The office of the CDO focuses on the needs of the internal users. But there is a strong push for data assets to be used aggressively by business leaders and individual contributors to break through traditional perimeters of business, and to drive transformation and new digital business models across the organization.
  • CDO Organization as a Business Service Provider: The office of the CDO delivers operational data services that are used by both internal and external users. The activities are expanded and integrated into a shared-service organization that runs like a business.
  • CDO Organization Is the Business: Information is one of the explicit external offerings of the organization or is inseparable from the product line. The office of the CDO delivers internal and external data services that drive business transformation and differentiation.


"The CDO organizational design is about people," said Mr. Faria. "It is easy enough to think about what kind of CDO an organization needs in order to meet its business goals, but it can be harder to put in place the right people to deliver on that structure. It's vital CDOs think critically about what skills and behaviors will be required by the office of the CDO in the short, medium and long term."

Gartner clients can read more information management predictions and analysis in the research note, "Successful Organizational Design Principles for the Office of the Chief Data Officer". There are also more detailed guidelines for new CDOs in the article titled "First 100 Days of a CDO".

CDOs should attend the dedicated CDO programme at the Gartner Enterprise Information & Master Data Management Summits 2016 taking place in London, U.K. and Grapevine, Texas. You can follow news and updates from the events on Twitter using #GartnerEIM.

Contacts
About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. The company delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner to clients in approximately 10,000 distinct enterprises worldwide. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA, and has 8,300 associates, including more than 1,800 research analysts and consultants, and clients in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.