The CDO role has now crossed the chasm!

It’s hard to have missed the news that data is important these days. Leaders recognize that they are sitting on a valuable asset. But it’s not enough to stockpile it. They know they need to put it to use, to derive insights from it to drive differentiation and competitive advantage, and to deliver that value to their organizations. How do they do that? For starters, they need leadership. They need someone to accept that mission and to create the insights-driven organization they need to become. For many, that role is a chief data officer.

Having hovered at around 50% over the past few years, we are pleased to report that now 58% of respondents in the Forrester Analytics Global Business Technographics® Data And Analytics Survey, 2019, tell us that their organizations have appointed a chief data officer and another 26% are planning to do so. And that’s not exclusive to big companies with bigger budgets: In fact, while 59% of enterprises have appointed a CDO, 55% of small- to medium-sized businesses also have.

The new “Forrester Infographic: Top Performers Appoint Data Insights Leaders” draws from Forrester’s latest Technographics survey on data and analytics, as well as Forrester’s Q2 2019 Global Data And Analytics Leadership Survey, to provide a snapshot of how these data insights leaders do their jobs and the benefits they deliver to their organizations.

And benefits they do deliver! With the race to become insights-driven, having a CDO is considered a critical success factor. In fact, when asked about obstacles or roadblocks to becoming insights-driven, an IT leader at a large US insurer told us, “Our lack of a CDO is one of them.” Companies with CDOs are much more likely to reap the business benefits of their data and analytics initiatives. They are nearly twice as likely to deliver differentiation, to improve partner experience, to shift business models, and to shift to digital business.

When business leaders ask CDOs to show them the money, they do.