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Firms Hire Chief Data Officers to Improve Data Management

Due to influx of data, companies hire CDOs to get information in check

August 19, 2015

Companies continue to ramp up data collection efforts, and the deluge of details will only get bigger. In June 2015 polling from Experian Data Quality, produced by Loudhouse Research, 57% of US chief information officers (CIOs) said they expected the volume of data they would need to manage to rise by 33% over the next 12 months.

Reasons that US CIOs Want a Chief Data Officer (CDO), June 2015 (% of respondents)

Big data management requires a big makeover. While the data explosion has spurred some companies to bring in external partners, Experian found that others were adding a new role to their organization: chief data officer (CDO). Considering that 83% saw data as a valuable asset not being fully utilized, and 64% believed their organizations weren’t making optimal use of data to drive their businesses, it makes sense that more than four in 10 CIOs without a CDO expected their company to appoint one within the next 18 months. About one-fifth intended to do so within the next two years.

There were three key drivers of CDO adoption: the need for a consistent approach to de-risk data-driven projects, increased regulatory and governance, and rising costs due to poor data quality. Issues with organization and a lack of ownership, as well as problems capitalizing on big data, were also drivers.

Challenges Experienced due to Inaccurate Data According to US CIOs Whose Company Has vs. Does Not Have a Chief Data Officer (CDO), June 2015 (% of respondents)

Though further results showed improved success in these leading areas among respondents who had already hired a CDO, they also indicated there was room for improvement among those who had as well. Companies with CDOs were less likely to have difficulty using data for decision-making and experience regulatory risk than those without such a role. However, those who had CDOs were more likely to note employee distrust in decisions being made and hampered process efficiencies due to duplicated efforts and time spent sorting out data problems. These heightened issues indicate a need for CDOs to improve alignment with employees—taking in feedback and creating open communication—and implement more streamlined processes to avoid hurting productivity, Experian noted.

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