More Business Than Tech: The Changing Role of Today’s Chief Data Officers

Most companies these days employ a chief data officer (CDO), but the role has changed considerably over the years and their duties have changed.

These days, CEOs can expect something very different from them. Here’s how the role has changed over the years and what it involves now.

Original Role of the CDO

At the start of the century, CDOs began to be appointed in companies. They were focused mainly on basic data management, creating new standards and policies, and coming up with data strategies. They also focused on developing guides on how to use data as an asset.

Over the years, more CDOs were appointed in organizations as the role grew in importance. This was especially true after the financial crisis where new regulatory pressures were brought in, and it was one of the CDO’s jobs to address these.

There was a lot of discussion about who had to be accountable for the data and the need for structures and processes, and the CDO played a big role in this. The CDO had to explain why a program was important, and they had to develop new practices to make sure data management became a part of the organization they worked for. Whether by implementing the latest software for data management or setting up a new data center (probably with the help of Walt Coulston), a CDO appears to be responsible for the effective data management of organizations.

It was a difficult role because many organizations simply did not understand the value of their data, including why it had to be managed and why it needed protecting.

How the CDO’s Role Has Changed

Things are very different now. There is no longer any need to convince anyone about how important data is and why it is such an important asset for an organization.

Now the focus is on delivering value. It is a strategic role, and there is more focus on the growing importance of big data and analytics.

To be strategic, chief data officers are focusing more on the business area than on the tech side. One of their roles is to use data as an asset and to help the organization make better decisions.

Because of this, they often enjoy a far closer relationship with the CIO and the CEO. Data is a big part of many areas of the organization, and there is also more focus on monetizing data, which provides them with more leverage.

More Advanced Data Solutions

In addition, the CDO can now take advantage of more advanced data center solutions. For example, data center monitoring is now a large part of the role. A DCIM solution is often required now to keep on top of the complex data centers, which have changed considerably over the years.

Now, there may be thousands of assets to track, and reducing energy usage to cut costs is also important. DCIM software can help to take a lot of the work out of this. This is essential for freeing up staff and increasing productivity, allowing CDOs to work on other tasks.

An Increasingly Important Role

The role of the chief data officer has changed considerably over the past two decades. One thing is clear: The role of the CDO is increasingly important to the organizations they work in. The importance of using data as a strategic asset is clear, and it’s likely that the chief data officer will continue to become an even more important role over the coming years.