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Privacy, security & risk

Myth Or Reality: The Chief Data Officer

Heidi Shey
Heidi Shey
Senior Analyst
March 30, 2015

S&R pros, is there a Chief Data Officer (CDO) in your organization? Do you work with them? Previously, John and I wrote about the CDO role and how we believe that CDOs will help to drive security policy in the future because they can 1) directly tie business value to data assets, 2) have a deep understanding of data identity and purpose, and 3) possess a great incentive to protect the company’s data (it’s a strategic business asset after all!). Colleagues like Gene have also written about the CDO and the importance of the CDO in data management.

The emergence of this role now brings about more questions than answers, and we’d like to provide more in-depth analysis and clarity around this topic. What is a CDO, and what do they do exactly? Is this a temporary role, or a critical C-level position that is here to stay? Why should we even care about this CDO role? These and other questions are ones that a team of analysts from Forrester are exploring in upcoming joint research, and we’d love to hear from you if you are a CDO, currently work with one, or don’t feel there is a need for a CDO because there are other roles in your organization are responsible for data strategy. Some of the key themes we are looking into include:

  • The responsibilities of the CDO role
  • Where CDOs reside in firms’ organizational structure
  • How CDOs help their firms win, retain, and serve their customers
  • Common benefits and challenges faced by CDOs
  • Which roles work closely with CDOs, and in what capacity
  • What business improvements this role makes possible
  • Why technology decision-makers should care about this role

If you’d like to chat and be interviewed for this report (45 minute call, all responses are anonymous), please let me know! All participants will also receive a copy of final published report.

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