Does Your Company Need a Chief Data Officer in the C-Suite?

If the emergence of Big Data has proven anything about today’s business landscape, it is that most organizations are not properly equipped to manage it. Even the most successful companies in the world struggle with leveraging Big Data, and many of these same companies are unaware of previously unavailable opportunities afforded by the implementation of master data management tools. The fact remains that Big Data is here to stay, and the amount of data enterprise organizations find themselves juggling is growing exponentially with each passing year.

The solution may be found in adding a new member to the C-suite—the chief data officer (CDO). The role of a chief data officer is not just limited to establishing data governance standards and information strategies, but also leveraging data as an asset to drive growth and create new opportunities.

A Growing Need

Take a moment to ask yourself a question: Is there someone in your organization who is ultimately accountable for data collection, analysis, and interpretation? The answer may likely be “no.” With the growing influence of Big Data, how will your business prepare for the future?

At this point in time, ignoring Big Data and the role it plays in our world can spell disaster for companies in almost all industries. Both internal and external data can help organizations gain a competitive edge, especially when properly collected and analyzed. Big Data can be used as a predictive tool, as well as a solution for companies looking to take a proactive approach to finding new and unique ways of interacting with customers and the market. Regulatory pressures have also grown with the explosion of Big Data, creating a new platform of risk.

Perhaps most important to note is the rapid advancements in technology that have characterized the 21st century. It is currently estimated that as much as one-third or more of information will either live in or pass through the cloud by 2020. This requires businesses, both large and small, to devote a significant amount of effort to managing and implementing new technologies, all of which will, in some way, affect Big Data and necessitate the role of the chief data officer.

The Role of the Chief Data Officer

Have you ever been presented with a wealth of data, only to freeze up when determining how to process and analyze it? If this scenario sounds familiar, you are not alone, and it’s one reason why so many businesses are employing Chief Data Officers. As a part of an organization’s C-suite, the CDO serves a number of purposes. They are the voice of all data in the company, implementing strategies and standards that help bolster the quality of data management. The CDO is tasked with measuring, analyzing and managing any and all risks associated with Big Data, influencing corporate strategy, and helping to refine processes and data standardization. CDOs are responsible for their organization’s data through the full data life cycle from creation, through use of the data, and then on to termination of the data. Some common CDO responsibilities include data curation, data governance, data science, data monetarization, data quality, data automation, and many more.

According to Forrester, 45% of global companies have appointed a Chief Data Officer. These individuals are not just responsible for managing mountains of unidentified data, as they can affect business outcomes in many ways. A great CDO will improve both the top and bottom line, increasing revenue and customer retention while lowering the cost of compliance and quality data management.

Today’s most forward-thinking organizations are actively working on developing solutions to manage and get the most out of the unrelenting influx of data. A CDO is certainly not an immediate cure-all for the data-related issues facing your company, but it is a calculated step in the right direction.

Black Oak was just named one of the Top 100 Most Promising Big Data Solution Providers of 2016. For more information on HiPER and how CDOs can leverage its data integration to provide value for organization, contact Black Oak Analytics today!

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