Chief Data Officer – Does Your Company Need One?

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As companies start to embrace the potential business applications the Information Age can provide, they are beginning to take a deeper look at Big Data to transform the way they do business and drive success. Just like any other transformative time in technology, organizations are experimenting with how to organize around data and manage this change. Fueled by the mega proliferation of information and the need to extract, analyze, and communicate it throughout the enterprise, a new role has emerged and now has a seat in the c-suite-Chief Data Officer (CDO) or Scientist (CDS).

Compliance Drove Adoption of First Data Chiefs – The first forays in data management erupted from the 2008-2009 financial crisis. Organizations looked to those in the trenches-technicians and programmers-to report their compliance stories. These first data chiefs were born of necessity to defend and respond to regulatory and transparency mandates. First-generation data chiefs, as some still do today, fought to be understood by executives and other business units. As data continues to surge, each organization will need to consider if the Chief Data Officer tole makes sense for their business. No matter what structure if finally decided upon, every organization has to answer how and who should glean business insights from the data.

Majority of Organizations Starting to See Value in CDO – Although firms are evolving the role and working to create the optimal organization structure, a majority now see it as vital to galvanize data for a competitive advantage-54% of firms surveyed for the 2016 Big Data Executives by NewVantage Partners have appointed a Chief Data Officer, up from just 12% in 2012. So, what does a Chief Data Officer do? Here are the most common areas of responsibility and key results:

  • Data Governance – The first priority for most CDOs is data governance-the set of policies, standards, and structures needed to ensure security, quality, and availability of data across the enterprise.
  • Data Access – A CDO must ensure his technology team is providing all the necessary software and activities that will allow users to retrieve, move or manipulate data stored in a database or other repository.
  • Data Architecture and Technology – A CDO determines the blueprint for the data-how data is sourced, processed, stored and used. They determine what tools are deployed, such as the Hitachi Content Intelligence platform.
  • Data Analytics – CDOs identify the strategic business possibilities and opportunities that reside within the data and present those opportunities to the other business units and executives.

Data-Driven Decision-Making – Regardless of adoption for the CDO role, we all can agree that data is not going to be any less important in our future business environments. This is why it is crucial that the Chief Data Officers get the funding and leadership buy-in they need to fully leverage data as a critical business asset.

One such tool that is assisting CDOs and CDSs alike to act faster and clearly showcase results is the Hitachi Content Intelligence tool. Because this solution allows the automation of extraction, classification, enrichment, and categorization of data residing on both on both Hitachi and third-party repositories, it is helping these data executives:

  • Transform data into valuable business information
  • Surface new insights from relevant data
  • Mitigate risk by improving data quality and discovery

As the positions of CDO and CDS mature, it’s time to go on the offense and adopt data-driven decision-making for all facets of the business. Organizations must determine the structures, tools and processes their data executives need to cultivate a data-driven culture and Hitachi Content Intelligence can help.

DSN Group will support your data executives and help them determine the best tools to create a data-driven culture within your organization. Please call DSN Group at 888.445.2919 to discuss your data analytics needs.

If your organization doesn’t have a Chief Data Officer, what are the current barriers for adding that position? If you do, what are ways they have impacted your business objectives and what best practices have you adopted?


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