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Passionately curious about Data, Databases and Systems Complexity. Data is ubiquitous, the database universe is dichotomous (structured and unstructured), expanding and complex. Find my Database Research at SQLToolkit.co.uk . Microsoft Data Platform MVP
"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing" Einstein
Saturday 29 May 2021
The Chief Data Officer and Data Innovation
The chief data officer (CDO) is a new role that has been emerging over the last few years. It sprung into life with businesses realising that every business needs to utilise data to succeed in the age of digital transformation. We have spent the last few years thinking about data culture in organisations and how to enable change to utilise organisational data assets and dark data. There is difficulty in the business change process and the CDO role has seen various iterations, adapting to find its place.
As we have seen, data is core to every business and there is opportunity within business to grow and introduce efficiencies by nurturing data as an asset. The CDO is the champion for data within the business and the voice that always thinks about using data as a strategic asset. Data can be utilised intelligently in advanced analytics to create new business opportunity and increase efficiency.
Cross business team utilisation of data requires a change in culture from hording data to making it assessable and advertising in the business what assets there are. CDOs require budget to be successful and must be able to influence enterprise change. There are restrictions of regulation and compliance that must be adhered to, but the CDO needs to be disruptive and drive innovation through the business.
The role is still evolving and a blueprint is becoming more established. Having a passion for data and storytelling with data is such an envisioning experience for growth. Erudite CDOs have a passion for exploration of data, just as data scientists do, to find that truth and evangelize the possibilities of data value and find that business opportunity. To enable data within the business to reach its potential use there are some foundations that need to be in place, such as data governance.
Thus a CDO should:
Understand the data context
Collaborate with business and IT
Create a data strategy with best practices on managing data, standards for data sharing, policies and procedures across the entire data lifecycle and identify that data value
Establish data governance operating models and sit on the data governance council
Oversee architecture best practices to review the impact of infrastructure change
Reduce barriers to data accessibility
Drive a data quality vision
Support operational efforts with strategic oversight
Be aware of legislation relating to data oversight
Data never stops being created and the ongoing role requires evangelizing, finding business value and adapting to changes of use with continuous small steps
Be a data driven culture leader
Lead data literacy improvement to help with the data culture adoption.
Work with IT and the business
Always know the current state of data maturity
A CDO needs technical and business acumen
Lead data transformation projects
Operationalise data usage
It is not only large corporations that require CDOs. Hiring a CDO for SMEs is a challenge, but will be instrumental in enhancing business value and making sure the data that is used provides that much needed business innovation.