Some Successful CDOs Will Move to Other C-Level Positions by 2020

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Gartner, Inc.’s second annual chief data officer (CDO) survey has found that early adopters of the CDO role and the office of the CDO (OCDO) are pioneering a new organizational function, to go alongside IT, business operations, HR and finance, according to a press release.

Organizations that have made the strategic decision to introduce the CDO role are looking to get as much new value as possible from this position. Thirty percent of the surveyed CDOs said they report directly to the CEO. CDOs are adding to the competitiveness of their companies by contributing to strategic planning and decision making, and by leading digital business initiatives. As a result, Gartner predicts that, by 2020, 15% of successful CDOs will move into CEO, COO, CMO or other C-level positions.

“The office of the CDO is being established as an operational department with the appropriate staffing, budget and responsibilities,” said Debra Logan, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “Fifty-four percent of the organizations we surveyed said that their OCDO was fully or partially implemented, with a further 20% already exploring, planning to explore or planning to implement an OCDO within the next year. Only 19% said they are unlikely to implement an ODCO.”

Gartner analysts discussed the CDO role, and how CIOs can create a positive working relationship with their CDO, during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2016, which is taking place here until Thursday.

According to the survey, the main business objectives of the OCDO are to increase customer intimacy (62%), competitive advantage (60%) and efficiency (54%). Respondents said that the main organization-wide responsibilities are oversight of analytics initiatives (69%) and data governance (68%). Next come responsibilities for defining the analytics strategy for the organization and ensuring information reliability and value (64% each).

CDOs are Responsible for Creating and Integrating Enterprise Data and Analytics Capabilities

The OCDO accommodates a wide range of roles emphasizing data and information management, data quality, business analytics and information architecture. “Most CDOs said that their role will focus on two key responsibilities,” said Mario Faria, a managing vice president at Gartner. “Sixty-seven percent of the respondents said they are acting as a champion or change agent in leading the organizational changes required to create and sustain enterprise data and analytics capabilities. Sixty-one percent are leading the effort to ensure that data and analytics are integrated into the business strategy and roadmap.”

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