- Expectations of the chief data officer (CDO) role in the enterprise are too high and misinformed, according to 46% of CDOs in a survey published Wednesday by Exasol. The survey was conducted by consulting firm Vitreous World and consulted 250 active CDOs.
- Despite the rise in enterprise data reliance, half of surveyed CDOs said the value of their role is not yet recognized in the business world. There are also challenges in the next generation of CDOs; for example, six in 10 CDOs said there's a lack of support for technologists trying to move into the role.
- CDOs' main drivers of attrition include lack of support or resources, the scope of the role failing to meet expectations, and a lack of fit with company culture. More than one-third (36%) of respondents said the rest of the C-suite fails to understand the CDO role.
Data is critical to enterprise success — and the data itself backs it up.
Companies where actions are driven by data are 58% more likely to beat their revenue goals compared to non-data driven companies, according to a Forrester survey.
CDOs lead enterprise data management, with support and partnership from IT leaders such as the CIO. But the mismatch in expectations threatens companies' ability to extract value from the data they gather.
Organizations start their CDO search "looking for Superman or Superwoman," or leaders who should be able to handle every single data protocol, said Exasol Chief Data and Analytics Officer Peter Jackson.
"You want one person to do that in a regular working week and you're not going to get much budget to do it? It's just unrealistic," Jackson said. To connect data with improved operations or increased revenue, CDOs need a supportive team of experts, specialists on their teams.
Aside from delivering potential revenue streams through data, data leaders are also supporting their company's modernization plans in tandem with CIOs.
More than seven in 10 data and analytics leaders with digital initiatives are either leading or heavily involved in digital transformation initiatives, according to a Gartner survey of 469 high-level data and analytics leaders.
"I think we're seeing a closer relationship between CIOs and CDOs," said Jackson. "It's benefiting business, and it's bringing real business outcomes, quicker."