In Search of a Great CDO

by Guest Columnist

Companies are looking for chief data officers (CDOs) who can use data analytics from the C-suite in order to transform the entire business. Naturally, it’s not an easy position to fill. However, an executive recruiting firm has identified certain CDO archetypes that can help companies find the right candidate.

Clint Boulton writes, “[CDOs] are among the most highly sought-after executives among corporations for whom data analytics has become a cornerstone of digital strategies. But the rush to promote data-crunching experts to the CDO role has created a new challenge: Finding a leader who can use data to help drive a business transformation.

“Companies eager to establish data analytics have promoted managers to the CDO role based on their technical wizardry rather than their leadership capabilities, says Joshua Clarke, partner for executive recruiter Heidrick & Struggles, who highlighted the problem in ‘Choosing the right chief data officer,’ a new report detailing the rapid evolution of the CDO role.

“While such leaders succeeded normalizing data and leveraging it to improve decision-making, they largely lacked business knowledge. That has created a ‘leadership vacuum’ in which the CDO is not always qualified to speak the language of the business, let alone apply data to gain a competitive advantage or transform the business, Clarke says.”

Read on for eight CDO archetypes.



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