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The emerging role of the Chief Data Officer

Mark Bentkower, CISSP, Director of Systems Engineering ASEAN, Commvault Systems | June 17, 2015
In this article, Mark Bentkower, CISSP, Director of Systems Engineering ASEAN, Commvault Systems shares the increasing need for the Chief Data Officer, who plays a pivotal role in ensuring data is sufficiently managed as a strategic business asset.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

The new digital landscape is reshaping IT roles. With the rise of The Internet of Things (IoT), a sea of potential social network information, and a new generation of sophisticated web analytics tools, there is increasing need to be more selective about data, and to store only the data that really matters to an organization. Digitalization creates an even greater need for an integrated information management strategy as business units rush to harness the digital opportunities of big data.

With organizations coming to realise that data science matters, retaining, accessing, protecting and ultimately deleting content in compliance with evolving regulations is a top-of-mind business concern.

At the same time, IT teams are also coming to realise the need for a leader whose role is to understand and advocate on behalf of the data. This new task however cannot be undertaken by the CIO, who is already overwhelmed with facilitating and managing digital innovation and transition.

Gartner predicts that 25 percent of organizations will have a Chief Data Officer (CDO) by 2017, with that figure rising to 50 percent in heavily regulated industries such as banking and insurance. In fact, the analyst firm found that 20 percent of CEOs in large organizations already have in place a data officer to lead their organization's digital innovation.

Getting the most business value out of the data

It is estimated that poor data quality costs an average organization $13.5 million per year, and yet data governance problems - which all organizations suffer from - are worsening. While the concept of data management has been around for a couple of years now, data is still not sufficiently managed as an asset.

This calls for an investment in people who can actually nurture and manage that data. This is where the CDO comes in. His role is to build a governance plan in order to effectively keep track of data assets: where they are stored, who has access, and how often they are cleansed and checked. The CDO can put data quality processes in place to better manage the purity of critical business data, and he can make sure the business is not paying to store duplicated, old, unverified or corrupted data. The end result is a cleaner, clearer dataset for everyone in the business, and a more secure, timely and effective management of data for the customer or client.

 

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