In the last few years companies have become aware of the value and importance of information technology, business intelligence, data management, data analytics & data integration as well as the value of Data as an Enterprise Asset. The management of this data has become more visible and crucial.
To this end many companies have realised that they must better define strategic priorities for management and delivery of data throughout the enterprise. They must identify new business opportunities through the analysis of data, and significantly improve revenue generation through more effective use of enterprise data. 
In an ideal world, one person should be focused on the quality, management, governance and the availability of data. It is about treating data as a strategic asset. But most organisations do not give data the same kind of attention as other corporate assets.

As companies now understand the importance of data and the enterprise-wide governance and utilisation of data as an “asset” – thus was born the position of the Chief Data Officer – CDO. Fundamentally, the CDO is tasked with being the voice of data and generally representing data as a strategic business asset at the executive table.

The CDO is typically a member of the executive management team managing their companies’ enterprise-wide data administration and data mining functions. 

The Role – Managing DATA as a Strategic Business ASSET

The marketplace is now getting a better understanding and now has a clear vision of 

  • Data managed as an asset 
  • Data-driven decision-making 

The Chief Data Officer now holds the position of being primarily responsible for implementing that vision

In essence, managing data as an asset means improving links between the databases; making information/data easier to find on-line, making it easier for analysts and decision makers to quickly access and transform data into the new formats and knowledge. It means lowering the cost of consuming and using data because we keep having more data to manage.

CDOs typical responsibilities include:

  • Data stewardship, or being the chief owner of all enterprise data.
  • Data aggregation, or being responsible for “building bridges between business units and creating an enterprise focus for the data”.
  • Communicate data schemas and eliminate any semantic differences among enterprise data.

The CDO should develop capabilities to measure and predict risk and influence enterprise risk appetite at the executive table. The CDO should also be watching the top-line revenue numbers as well as the bottom line.

Once you treat data as a strategic asset then you enable the CDO to generate more revenue or lower costs through the use of data


According to Gartner research, 4.4 million IT jobs will be created to support big data within the next two years.

Some stats about CDOs:

  • There are over 200 chief data officers serving in large enterprises today. That’s more than double the number from 2012.
  • Banking, Government and Insurance are the top 3 industries for Chief Data Officers – in that order. However we are now seeing other industries rising.