CSD Consulting

Chief Data Officer Definition

By Chris Dewar

At a high level, Chief Data Officers (CDO) oversees how data is gathered, managed, protected, and monetised.

Develop Strategies for Data Management

A CDO must:

  1. Champion global data management, governance, quality and vendor relationships across the organisation.
  2. Oversee the Enterprise Information Management (EIM) program, data scientists and data stewards and data service providers.
  3. Establish data policies, standards, organization and enforcement of EIM concepts.
  4. Oversee and reports on data metrics.
  5. Have executive-level responsibility for all enterprise information/data management budgeting and initiatives

Data Governance

The CDO must organise and implement policies, procedures, structures, roles and responsibilities that outline and enforce rules of engagement, decision rights, and the accountability for the effective management of information assets.

Data Quality

The CDO must determine her company’s current data quality and maturity level. As a guide this level may be one of the following:

  1. Uncertain - The organisation stumbles over data defects as programs crash and employees complain. There’s no data quality improvement process in place.
  2. Awakening - A few individuals acknowledge the dirty data and try to incorporate data profiling and data cleansing activities in their projects before the formal enterprise-wide support begins.
  3. Enlightenment - The organisation is beginning to address the root causes of dirty data through program edits and data quality training. A data quality group usually emerges here.
  4. Wisdom - The organisation proactively works on preventing future data defects, and data quality incentives are being implemented. 
  5. Certainty - The organization continuously monitors and improves its data defect-prevention processes

The CDO should put in place a plan to move the organisation to level 5.

Organisations must have data quality and data governance processes in place before they can develop effective Business Intelligence Solutions

Data Standards

A CDO must establish enterprise standards – including a uniform and repeatable processes that can be included in the system development lifecycle methodology. There should be a common set of standards for data naming, abbreviations and acronyms.

Business Intelligence (BI)

The CDO must develop a BI architecture and a collection of integrated decision-support applications and databases that provides the business community with easy access to business data.

The CDO should work with the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to understand their pain points and present BI opportunities that could resolve them. 

Data Warehousing

The CDO must develop a data warehouse strategy (involving databases and data-marts). It should provide consistent, clean and integrated data. Executives, in turn, would use the resulting information to make more informed decisions.

Master Data Management (MDM)

The CDO must develop MDM strategy for master data (eg customers, products, employees, suppliers, etc). It should outline the approach for leveraging a range of tools to implement how the organisation captures, integrates and shares master data.

Enterprise Data Modelling (EDM)

The CDO must establish a high-level conceptual data model showing core business objectives (entities) and their data relationships. The CDO should then develop a functional data model of each functional area in the organisation. Note that the EDM model may never be completed, but it will deliver value by allowing the CDO to discover and resolve data discrepancies across different views, minimise data duplication, generate discussions on data ownership, identify the need for data standards, identify potential BI opportunities.

If your organisation has a requirement for a CDO then contact CSD Consulting and they can provide you with the resources needed to perform these activities.