CDO – The person responsible for data

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CDO – The person responsible for data

2015 / 17/12

A new executive position (the office of the Chief Data Officer) has been created as part of the management of large companies. According to an IBM study, a quarter of Fortune 500 companies employ deputy chief executive officers responsible for the management of corporate data asset.

Data is everywhere

The amount of data generated by companies and institutions due to digitalisation is dynamically growing. At the same time, the range of data types from those managed within company information systems to data generated in the social media, including image, audio and video files, is getting wider. Certain data are in private use of the companies and institutions (for the time being or in the near future), while other data are shared with the public or even sold for external organisations. And last but not least, there are data of crucial importance regarding the operation of the organisation generated outside the organisation: such data are acquired from external organisations.

This is an area which makes the establishment of a new organisational unit necessary, especially if the data asset is large and complex, and which shall be represented by a Chief Data Officer in the senior management.

Extensive responsibility: from controlling data cleanness to gaining profit

The responsibility of a CDO is extensive – and it may become even more extensive in the future. It is the CDO's and his/her organisational unit's responsibility to find out how to make the existing data as useful for the business as possible. Expansion of the data asset is also the CDO's task. It is carried out by combining inside and outside data, and by making inside data more exact, more relevant and more valuable.

Besides controlling the data and their cleanness, there is another responsibility related to the sales area: a CDO is expected to find a way of gaining profit with the help of the data asset.

The ideal CDO's profile is complex. While being familiar with the different technological aspects – tools, data architectures, etc. – of data management, the CDO is also an evangelist of knowledge and opportunities related to data asset on an executive level.


Source: IBM