Why you still don’t need a chief data officer

Analytics   |   
Published May 19, 2014   |   
Ben Rossi

For those who have followed my writings on the subject of the chief data officer (CDO), you know well that I am no advocate of this role.

Having endured one wave of hype after another on this subject and being that I just attended the CDO Summit in London, I felt that it was time for an update.

What I initially believed was a bit of overzealousness in response to new regulatory statutes (BCBS 239 Pillar II) have now become downright cynical.

Every vendor, IT analyst and CDO wannabe is out beating the CDO drum each day in the belief that if you say something loudly and frequently enough then it becomes the truth.

To be clear, there is absolutely no justification whatsoever for a chief data officer, much less the 20-plus other ‘chief whatever officers’ currently being advocated.

In terms of facts, this is what a number of recent surveys tell us: most CDOs have been created out of the wreckage of failed data governance programmes; the vast majority of CDOs remain in financial services and are a direct result of a knee-jerk response to complying with the BCBS239 ‘data management’ requirement; virtually all CDOs are non-executive, reporting one to three tiers below the C-Suite, usually to the CIO.

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