1. What is the discussion about (overview of group discussion)?
The role of Chief Data Officer (CDO)

  • Is relatively new to the C-suite, but it has already evolved into a board-level position focused on helping the organization make decisions based on data.
  • Main responsibilities as a CDO: grow the top line, expand the bottom line, and reduce risk.
  • Its different flavors:
    • Orchestrate the data strategy to maximize value
    • Own the data strategy
    • Maximize opportunities and minimize risks
    • Facilitator – set the direction of where the company should go


2. What are the critical areas discussed and why it was imperative to the group?

  • Accountability – Where should the CDO report to? CIO, CFO, COO, Business Units? It is not commonly established where the CDO should sit in an organization. The person you report to will define your priority and must be a supporter of your strategy. The discussion showed that it really does not matter where the CDO organization sits, as long as collaboration and data-driven culture are in place.
  • Collaboration – CDOs do not own the business, they own the data, so collaboration across the enterprise plays a key part of the role. Getting support and buy-in from other teams can and will make the difference in establishing your strategy and building the relationships can take time. Setting up a Data Governance council can help.


3. What are a few takeaways from the discussion?

  • Not all enterprises use data in a strategic way.
  • There is a challenge in establishing the CDO role.
  • The desire for quick wins can affect the value the CDO role/organization can bring to the enterprise.
  • The pandemic/new normal surfaced new opportunities: attract talent from different locations, increased co-creation, changing the culture to enable remote work and perhaps most important accelerate digital transformation.
  • In 2022, participants are going to focus on collaboration, customer experience, organizational capability, consolidation, and data literacy.