12 Qualities Your Next Chief Data Officer Should Have (continued)

12 Qualities Your Next Chief Data Officer Should Have Infographic


7. Be Technology Savvy and Understand the Latest Trends

A CDO deals with both the IT as the business aspects of Big Data and should, therefore, understand the concepts of data mining, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data modeling and data governance. Not only from the business perspective, but also from the IT perspective. In addition, the world of big data changes rapidly and new big data trends constantly emerge; he or she should, therefore, remain up-to-date with the latest trends.

8. Be Open to Input from Others

The CDO should not be the only one calling the shots. Of course, when a decision needs to be made on important, company-wide projects, the CDO should, together with the rest of the board, make the decision. However, a CDO should also empower his/her employees to make their own decisions within their projects. The Chief Data Officer should give control to his or her staff and should avoid micro-managing them.

9. Be Customer-Driven

When dealing with Big Data, organizations should take the customer into account in everything they do. This human-centered approach is vital. When projects are developed based on the actual needs of the customer, the chances of success are a lot higher. In addition, when developing big data projects, the CDO should ensure that the customer does not become the victim in terms of lost privacy and should ensure that the customer’s privacy is protected.

10. Be Security Driven

My vision is that all organizations will be hacked and if you are not being hacked, you are simply not important enough as an organization. Therefore, a CDO should have a strong security focus. As a CDO, the starting point should be that you will be hacked and if that’s the case, how do you prevent that hackers get access to any personal data or important company data or systems. A CDO should enforce the right security processes, implement the right encryption measures and use right IT Operations Analytics tools to detect attacks in real-time.

11. Be a Visionary Leader

A CDO needs to have a vision where he/she wants to bring the company to in the next 5-10 years. As mentioned Big Data projects take a lot of time to be completed and a strong and clear vision will help to complete the projects in the right way.

12. Be a Change Manager

Big data requires a culture change within the organization. Moving to a data-driven and information-centric culture is difficult as people have a natural inertia to change. Therefore, the Chief Data Officer should be a strong change manager, who is capable of changing people’s behavior within the company.

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2 thoughts on “12 Qualities Your Next Chief Data Officer Should Have (continued)

  1. Mark,
    Congratulations on your new book. I’m curious: You say a CDO has to be a change manager, a strong communicator, and have the ability to make tough decisions. The three of these (combined with EQ) suggest that a CDO needs to be able to “transfer data into insight through story.” I don’t know of one CDO today that knows how to do this. Most stop at data visualization and use it to try and move others to action. Where is this subject I mentioned covered in your book? I ask because it’s the focus of the work that I’m bringing forward as a strategist and a thought leader in business storytelling.
    Thanks for letting me comment.,
    Lori Silverman

  2. Lori, thanks for your comment. This part on CDO’s is, unfortunately, not part of my book Think Bigger, as it is part of recent research. However, I agree with you that many CDO’s don’t know how to “transfer data into insights through story”, but that does not mean they should not learn this capability. I believe this is vital for the success of an organisations that wants to transform their business into a digital business. Please let me know if you have any additional questions via my LinkedIn: https://linkedIn.com/in/markvanrijmenam

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