It is no longer enough for chief data officers to just manage and protecting their employers’ data, they are increasingly expected to bng in cash too by monetising the information they oversee, according to Gartner.
According to a global survey of almost 300 data and analytics leaders, more than a third have “increase revenue” as a top three measure of their success.
And the report predicts that this focus on “value creation over risk mitigation” will grow over time, as companies look to data bring in new revenue streams.
The shift in attitude is also linked to an increase in budgets for chief data officers’ teams and a greater push for so-called “data democratisation” – giving everyone in a company the chance to get their hands on the information.
CDOs are also getting bigger budgets and more staff to play with, the report shows, with average CDO office budget up 23% from $6.5m (£4.9m) in 2016 to $8m (£6m) in 2017. Some 15% of the CDOs said their budgets were more than $20m, compared with 7% who said so in 2016.
Meanwhile the average number of full-time employees has risen from in 2016 was 38 in 2016 to 54 this year.
Gartner research director Valerie Logan said: “We are seeing the data officer is growing. There are 3,000 to 4,000 CDOs in the market globally. It is a role that will persist.”
In Europe, the CDO position has been driven by the looming GDPR, although the US market is more mature following changes to banking regulations, she said.
“While the early crop of CDOs was focused on data governance, data quality and regulatory drivers, today’s CDOs are now also delivering tangible business value, and enabling a data-driven culture,” said Logan.
In the survey, CDOs said they were using privacy as an opportunity to drive value, leading to organisations building infrastructure and platforms that both respond to regulatory concerns and drive value and top-line growth, she added.
The survey also reported that 35% of CDOs regard poor data literacy as a major challenge in their organisation. “Everyone needs to speak the language of data,” Logan concluded.
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