what is a chief data officer

What is a Chief Data Officer

June 17, 2019
June 17, 2019
17 June 2019

According to a Gartner study presented at the Data & Analytics conference in London 2019, 90% of large companies will have a CDO by 2020!

With the arrival of Big Data, many companies find themselves with colossal amounts of data without knowing how to exploit them. In response to this challenge, a new function is emerging within these large companies: the Chief Data Officer.


The Chief Data Officer’s role

Considered as data “gurus”, Chief Data Officers (CDO) play a key role in an enterprise’s data strategy. They are in charge of improving the organization’s overall efficiency and the capacity to create value around their data.

In order for CDOs to fulfill their missions, they must reflect on providing high-quality, managed, and secure data assets. In other words, they must find the right balance between an offensive and defensive data governance strategy that matches the enterprise’s needs.


According to the Gartner study, presented at their annual Data & Analytics event in London in March 2019, the CDO, among other things, has several important responsibilities within a company:

Define a data & analytics strategy

What are the short, medium, and long-term data objectives? How can I implement a data culture within my enterprise? How can I democratize data access? How can I measure my data assets quality? How can I attain internal and/or legal regulatory compliance? How can I empower my data users?

There are so many questions that CDOs must ask themselves in order to implement a data & analytics strategy in their organization.

Once the issues have been identified, it is time for operational initiatives. A CDO acts as a supervisor so that the efforts made in providing data information are trustworthy and valuable.

Their role takes shape over time. They must become the new “Data Democracy” leaders within their companies and maintain the investment provided for its infrastructure and organization.

Build Data Governance

Implementing data governance must successfully combine compliance with increasingly demanding regulatory requirements and the exploitation of as much data as possible in all areas of an enterprise. To achieve this goal, a CDO must first ask themselves a few questions:

  • What data do I have in my organization?
  • Are these data sufficiently documented to be understood and managed by my collaborators?
  • Where do they come from?
  • Are they secure?
  • What rules or restrictions apply to my data?
  • Who is responsible for them?
  • Who uses my data? And how?
  • How can my collaborators access them?

It’s by building agile data governance in the most offensive way possible that CDOs will be able to facilitate data access and ensure their quality in order to add value to them.

Evangelize a “Data Democracy” culture

Data Democracy refers to the idea that if each employee, with full awareness, can easily access as much data as possible, an enterprise as a whole will reap the benefits. This right to access data comes with duties and responsibilities, including contributing to maintaining the highest level of data quality and documentation. Therefore, governance is no longer the sole preserve of a few, but becomes everyone’s business.

To achieve this mission, Zeenea connects and federates teams around data through a common language. Our data catalog allows anyone – with the allotted allowances – to discover and trust in an enterprise’s data assets.

Are you a Chief Data Officer looking for a Data Governance tool?

In order for Chief Data Officers achieve their objectives, they need to be equipped with the right tools. With Zeenea’s data catalog, CDOs can identify their data assets, make them accessible and usable by their collaborators in order to be valorized.

Easy to use and intuitive, our data catalog is the CDO’s indispensable tool for implementing agile data governance. Contact us for more information.

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At Zeenea, we work hard to create a data fluent world by providing our customers with the tools and services that allow enterprises to be data driven.

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Chez Zeenea, notre objectif est de créer un monde “data fluent” en proposant à nos clients une plateforme et des services permettant aux entreprises de devenir data-driven.

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Das Ziel von Zeenea ist es, unsere Kunden "data-fluent" zu machen, indem wir ihnen eine Plattform und Dienstleistungen bieten, die ihnen datengetriebenes Arbeiten ermöglichen.

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