In today’s age, companies are recognizing the business value of the data that is now easier to collect and analyze than ever before, and the need to tap into it quickly. This is where the chief data officer (CDO) enters into the picture, the newest role in the C-suite that is responsible for defining and putting into place a data management strategy. However, the role comes with its fair share of challenges. Here are the top challenges a CDO is likely to face when newly minted into an organization.
- Securing buy-in from the top.
Despite having a C-level title, CDOs are not always given the same authority as other executives and are often viewed as junior to their executive counterparts. This happens with full knowledge that without C-suite buy-in, it is basically impossible to move data and analytics away from a purely technical initiative and towards a business one. When all is said and done, an organization takes its direction from the top — only once the CEO is advocating for the role will a CDO have the momentum to create essential and strategic data management. According to Forrester, only 4% of the companies currently seeing value from data science have a lack of support from the executive team.
- Fighting resistance to change.
An organizational shift at any time may spark some internal resistance, and this is especially true for the CDO. The third annual Gartner Chief Data Officer Survey named “cultural challenges to accepting change” as one of the top internal roadblocks to success. Relinquishing control, or comprehending the benefits of doing so may give a tough time to the departments. This is why it is important for the CDO to lead an entire internal marketing initiative to educate everyone from senior executives to frontline associates on the value of internal data integration. In order to lessen this uphill climb, he or she must incorporate this narrative into every aspect of the organization, from company culture to the business intelligence landscape.
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