Experian Survey Reveals Rise of Chief Data Officer

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It’s probably not a title you’ve heard before, but a new report by information services group Experian suggests that it could become a common component of the c-suite by the end of the decade, and the role is all about managing the huge use of data that’s essential for all major businesses.

The report, named “Dawn of the Chief Data Officer” interviewed well over 200 Chief Information Officers to get their opinions on a variety of questions, all pertaining to use of data, and the revolution we’re currently going through.

We’ve all heard of the term ‘big data’ and how companies are trying to make the most of it, and this report does seem to show some solid evidence that it’s here to stay. The research proposes that strategic data leadership is crucial in allowing businesses to capitalise on the many opportunities that data can bring. The conclusion is that senior management must take action, and be supported by CIOs when doing so.

Chief Data Officer
Chief Data Officer

A headline statistic is that 90 percent of the CIOs interviewed believe that data is transforming the way they do business. That’s a big statement. It’s hard to argue otherwise, with so many businesses trying to work out how they can better use the information they’ve got, or indeed, the information they haven’t got. As a result, there needs to be dedicated manpower behind the effort.

The Data Force

The role of the CDO then, is to head up what’s been dubbed a ‘data force’; a group within the organisation dedicated to getting value out of business data, and working alongside the CIO and other teams. This idea is so strong, that 61 percent of the interviewees wanted to see a CDO hired in the next year. What’s the reason behind this? There’s a huge amount of data to be worked through; well beyond the current scope of operations. 47 percent of CIOs said that the volume of data was the biggest barrier to success.

The takeaway is that big businesses are really going to have to start looking hard into their vast banks of data. Do they have everything they need? Are they making the most of what they’ve got?

Do they have the personnel to deal with it? These are all questions that c-level executives will be asking one another in the coming months and years. And as big data becomes even more widespread, it may well be the case that smaller organisations may too have to consider specialised employees to unlock that strategic value, or they may need companies like Evolve to show them the way. They aim to transform and enrich businesses by enhancing processes and operational efficiency, through the use of technology, and should definitely be a consideration for all businesses keen to drive change.