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January 26, 2016updated 30 Aug 2016 3:19pm

Most large companies will hire CDOs to take advantage of digital assets

CDO will be responsible for industrial-scale data collection and harnessing of data.

By CBR Staff Writer

With companies looking to take advantage of information assets, about 90% of the large organisation will hire chief data officers (CDOs) by 2019.

Large organisations said to have hired 1,000 chief data officers or chief analytics officers by the end of 2015, rising from 400 in 2014.

According to a report from Gartner, the CDOs will be hired to draw competitive advantage and improved efficiency through better use of information assets.

Gartner research vice president, Mario Faria said: "Business leaders are starting to grasp the huge potential of digital business, and demanding a better return on their organizations’ information assets and use of analytics."

"It’s a logical step to create an executive position — the CDO — to handle the many opportunities and responsibilities that arise from industrial-scale collection and harnessing of data."

However, the new CDOs will face a number of challenges and predicts that only about 50% of them will be successful by the end of 2019.

Gartner report says that many organisations, the role of CDOs will be new and hence they will be learning on the job.

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The main challenge will be to create an information strategy with relevant metrics for the organisation and these must be measurable in terms of results.

Faria said: "With the explosion of datasets everywhere, an important task is determining which information can add business value, drive efficiency or improve risk management."

"The CDO’s role will raise expectations of better results from an enterprise information management strategy, with stakeholders wanting a clear idea of the exact mechanics of making success a reality."

Increased number of expectations and limited knowledge in information management by business users could make CDOs job difficult.

Faria added: "this raises a political aspect to the role — building trust and relationships in the organisation will be important to achieving success."

The report says that at present, many CDOs are facing resistance from the IT department over control of information assets and their governance.

On the other hand, successful organisations are those where the CDOs are working in hand in hand with CIOs (chief information officer) to lead change.

Mr. Faria said: "It’s important to account for the soft skills needed in the CDO role, whether you are applying or hiring for the position."

"The success of a CDO will to a large extent depend on his or her ability to lead the change as well as gain the enthusiasm, support and resources of business leaders and other key business units."

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