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Last Updated Date May 25, 2021 |

As organizations have to deal with an increasing volume of the data, data governance initiatives become more frequents and broader. While the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is focusing on the infrastructure and applications supporting the business, the Chief Data Officer (CDO) is focusing on the data stored on this infrastructure and within the applications that support the business as well.

The Chief Data Officer is the executive responsible for all data assets in the organization, promoting the data as an asset for the business by working with the other c-level to define the vision, plan and conduct the data governance initiatives to support the business strategy. These responsibilities include data security, which is vital for maintaining an organization’s and its leaders’ reputations, data quality to ensure data can be trusted and audited for compliance, certifying and mastering data to provide an authoritative golden record and a multi-domain view of customer, products, and other key data assets. The CDO must also put the people, processes, and technology in place to deliver reliable data pipelines that feed data-driven applications throughout the enterprise.

The CDO ensures the organization maximizes the return on data assets by using research and analytics. To support this, the CDO defines the roles, recruits and manages a team of skilled individuals who will contribute to this effort (data stewards, data analysts, data scientists, data architects, data engineers, data modelers, DBAs…).


At the same time the CDO works with the different internal entities (information security, corporate risk, and compliance risk, and various LOBs such as the CMO) to define the policies and programs to ensure data delivery, protection and retirement.


  • Executive responsible for the data assets
  • Data security working with the CIO and ideally a Data Security Group and application owners to identify data that is private and define policies to ensure data encryption when the data is transmitted and at rest across the applications.
  • Work with C-level executives to define the vision, plan, and conduct actions to treat data as an asset
  • Use of data governance to support the overall business strategy
  • Exploit data using research and analytics to maximize the return on data assets
  • Develop methods to ensure consistent use of analytics
  • Advance the importance of data-oriented roles (data steward, data analyst, data scientist, data architect)
  • Deliver reliable and scalable data pipelines that feed analytic and other data-driven applications
  • Develop data governance (controls of data quality, interoperability and sources) to effectively manage corporate risk
  • Define, control, and manage master data and metadata management policies, controls, and standards including reference data
  • Organize and run the Data Governance council
  • Define job roles, recruit, and manage the team of the data experts
  • Define and manage data protection policies and programs with information security, corporate risk, and compliance offices


  • Excellent interpersonal skills, able to work across business lines at senior levels to influence and effect change to achieve common goals
  • Demonstrated leadership; proven track record of leading complex, multidisciplinary talent teams in new endeavors and delivering solutions
  • Experience with data management technologies such as data warehousing, BI/analytic tools, data integration, data quality, MDM, data security, Big Data (e.g., Hadoop), etc.
  • Experience in strategic technology planning and execution, and policy development and maintenance
  • Excellent business analysis and problem-solving skills
  • Familiarity with business information generation and analysis methods
  • Ability to effectively drive people, process, and technology change in a dynamic and complex operating environment
  • Ability to develop a framework for information management, as well as to sell and embed it in all levels of the business
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to explain digital concepts and technologies to business leaders, as well as business concepts to technologists; able to sell ideas and process internally at all levels, including the board and investors


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