Three decades ago, organizations did not know what to do with chief information officers. Now, business leaders cannot move a business muscle without a CIO’s counsel. The chief data officer roles are facing the same situation now. Their contracts are primarily short-term because organizations are yet to discover the value CDOs can offer. In this article at Harvard Business Review, Tom Davenport, Randy Bean, and Josh King discuss if companies are ready for chief data officer roles.
What Can a Chief Data Officer Do?
Right now, the focus is more on how CDOs could leverage technology for data management. Leaders can make the chief data officer role more valuable by making the job responsibilities more defined and precise.
Rise of the Role
According to the 2021 NewVantage Partners survey, 65 percent of the large data-driven enterprises have CDOs on their payroll. CapitalOne introduced the role in 2002. Now, the chief data officer role has more takers in the financial services organizations. Retail, healthcare, and government sectors are also warming up to the idea of hiring CDOs for their companies. The authors remark, “this trend reflects a recognition that data is an important business asset that is worthy of management by a senior executive.”
High Turnover Rate
Per a Gartner survey, chief data officers usually stay with an organization between two to three years. Though they get a hearty welcome, they have to accomplish quick results within a short period for transformation projects to avoid being put on trial. Despite the role’s popularity in financial sectors, expectations from CDOs are similar or higher. So, even though there is a high turnover rate, the soaring demand for the position enables resigning chief data officer roles to get hired elsewhere. The high attrition rate is also because, over the years, the related job responsibilities are being shifted to other C-suite positions like chief information security officers, chief privacy officers, chief analytics officers.
Some companies stick to their legacy technologies, which does not help CDOs make a digital transformation. Besides, most of their efforts are intangible and can hardly satisfy business stakeholders. Some CDOs are expected to transform the existing organizational culture to earn a data-centric, future-forward brand reputation. Most officers cannot maneuver through internal politics to stabilize their position in the company.
Though organizations will become more comfortable with chief data officer roles within a decade, today’s CDOs must learn to deal with the current situation. Procter & Gamble Chief Data and Analytics Officer Guy Peri recommends that CDOs leverage data analytics to showcase tangible results tied to corporate strategies. They should create a team of influential stakeholders that could support change in the organization. Chief data officers must also hone communication skills along with knowledge in business affairs to get wider acceptance.
To view the original article in full, visit the following link: https://hbr.org/2021/08/why-do-chief-data-officers-have-such-short-tenures?ab=hero-main-text