What is a Chief Data Officer?

by bold-lichterman

Digital technology has given rise to an incredible amount of data which today is a real nugget for companies. But how to use this data? Welcome to the world of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) – not to be confused with the other CDO, the Chief Digital Officer.

The Chief Data Officer is considered today as the guru of companies. As data manager, he plays a key role in defining the overall strategy of the company. With the aim of facilitating access to data, it must ensure its reliability in order to be able to use and analyze it, and thus allow the Management to make the best decisions. From an operational point of view, the Chief Data Officer is surrounded by specialists in the analysis and management of databases, such as Data Scientists and Data Analysts. The mission of this team is in particular to carry out maps or data reports in order to set up a strategy that perfectly suits the needs of the company and allows it to gain profitability.

One of the key roles of the Chief Data Officer is to know how to choose, among this profusion of data, those that will be the most useful for his company and to aggregate all the internal and external data in order to make the analyzes relevant.

The emergence of Big Data and Smart Data being still relatively young, the CDO must do a lot of evangelization on the importance of data both internally and externally. Within his company, the CDO must instill a Data culture by raising awareness among the various players, from General Management to operational staff, around the value of data. He must be able to convince of the interest for the company to resort to this approach. This role of guide is also valid with its customers since it must lead them to understand what data is, the advantages of its exploitation and how it will be able to be profitable to the business.

The exercise of the job of Chief Data Officer requires experience (between 10 and 15 years). It is for this reason that the position is not accessible to young graduates. However, some training courses allow you to become familiar with the Data environment, such as engineering schools, statistics schools, or even masters specializing in Big Data. A Chief Data Officer must therefore have certain essential qualities to excel. In addition to a strong analytical mind, this position requires a certain rigor and organization. As well as great responsiveness, openness and pedagogy are also essential.

This Data revolution means that the job of Chief Data Officer is highly sought after today. Even if for the moment, this position is particularly present within advertisers, the Chief Data Officer will have to integrate other sectors in a more important way such as agencies, start-ups or even pure-players.

One of the next key challenges for CDOs is the entry into force, on May 25, 2018, of the new European regulation on the protection of personal data. Strengthening personal rights and empowering those dealing with data are part of the objectives of this reform. What impact on the Data market? Professionals are already having sleepless nights …

The contributor:

What is a Chief Data Officer

Charlotte vitoux is here Country Manager France ofAquent.