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“Big Data” to become title, not a concept?

Maybe not—but rise of “Chief Data Officer” may bridge gap between data, people, and technology

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“Big Data” to become title, not a concept?

An increasing number of large organizations are waking up to the strategic value of data.

A survey by Experian of 250 chief information officers found that 90% say data is transforming the way they do business, with some 92% suggesting that a chief data officer (CDO) is best placed to define data strategy and be the guardian of data quality within an organization.

Sixty-one percent wanted to see a CDO hired within the next 12 months and 47% cited the sheer volume of data as a key barrier to success, preventing them from using these data assets further, to improve their interactions with audiences.

Respondents also outlined the growing need for closer collaboration between marketing and IT teams within the business. This is likely to also change the make-up of senior leadership teams in the future, with the CDO likely to become a senior role by 2020.

“Companies are increasingly switching on to the value of data,” says Boris Huard, managing director of Experian Data Quality. “They are realizing that more emphasis needs to be placed on data management and strategy to ensure that they are able to satisfy burgeoning customer expectations.”

The survey found three key reasons for wanting a CDO are:

• Capitalize on big data opportunities (44%)

• Provide a consistent approach to de-risk data driven projects (41%)

• Cope with increasing regulation

This may be pivotal year…

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The study suggests that 2015 could when this new data force takes the lead in overseeing the use of data within organizations. Alongside the CIO as the point-person for guiding the use of data within the business, the relatively new, senior role of the CDO will be expected to navigate an increasingly complex landscape, to deliver the best results for both brands and customers.

“The ‘data force’ will have a key role at the heart of businesses. We can add Chief Digital Officer, alongside CDOs and Director of Insights, as emerging new roles which have come about in response to the pressure and opportunity presented by big data,” Huard says.

“This new breed of data professionals will have wide-ranging impact on the way that brands interact with customers,” he continues. “Regardless of what industry you are operating in, your marketers are only ever as good as the data that underpins their plans.”

Download “Dawn of the CDO

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