Where do CDOs come from?
CDOs' common work experiences and prior roles include:
- A background in analytics: 63 percent of CDOs globally were in a diverse range of data and analytics roles prior to their current appointment.
- A range of other line-of-business roles such as sales and marketing (16 percent), and finance and operations (10 percent).
- While a degree of technology awareness is required, the CDO is not a technical role. Only 9 percent had a prior position in a traditional IT department.
How to succeed in the role
There are three main characteristics that will lead to success in the role. CDOs must:
1. Be the emergent leader for data-driven business
While a relatively new role, the increase in the number of appointed CDOs reflects the rising number of organizations that are taking data and analytics aspects seriously and preparing for them. It’s important to adopt responsibility for ensuring information-based business transformation, value creation, operational efficiency and improved risk management.
2. Be business-centric, data-oriented, analytically minded and culturally aware
Successful CDOs will be able to influence the culture and behavior of peers and colleagues, pushing the organization to become more data-driven, information-centric and analytical. As the role matures and demands increase, successful CDOs will recognize the different cultural characteristics needed to highlight the business value of data.
3. Focus on the link between data, analytics, business processes and outcomes
By focusing on these linkages, CDOs will be able to create business relevancy and establish themselves as the catalyst for data-driven business value. There’s a clear opportunity to become the individual within the organization who identifies, articulates and evangelizes the business value of data in support of better business outcomes.