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The value of the 'chief data officer' and other analytics-centric roles

Rachel Wheeler Archive

Businesses around the world are looking to make better use of data for improving their analytics initiatives, but they're beginning to realize something: To make that happen, they need sound leadership.

It's difficult to coordinate any data-driven effort when workflow is scattered across a wide range of departments and offices. If everyone from sales to customer service to HR is doing their own thing, it can lead a company to lack cohesion. There's no one to enforce basic standards for data quality or sink their teeth into any kind of long-term data enrichment project.

That's why the role of the "chief data officer" is one that's on the rise. If a company is able to hire a CDO, it will instantly see better organization about mobilization around all things analytical. This represents a potentially huge boon to enterprises of any size.

According to the Financial Brand, companies everywhere are realizing this impact. Financial strategist Jim Marous sees this trend spreading like wildfire around the globe.

The rise in data leadership
Marous noted that across the board, data-driven efforts need better leaders, and companies are starting to realize it. The CDO is just the start. Companies are starting to shape their entire staffs around this principle.

"At the best organizations, you now are seeing marketers that are having a much closer relationship with the CIO and chief data officer because customer insight allows them to be more effective in their role," he said. "The same is true for product managers, operations managers, channel managers, etc."

Putting leaders behind data helps companies coordinate mining, data quality, analysis and more. They can eliminate the "scatter" problem and make sure everyone is focused on using in-house data for the same internal and external goals.

Other peripheral jobs seeping in
It's not just specific analytics-related jobs that are feeling the effects, though. Really, everyone with any hand in the data process is seeing improved workflow as a result of this newfound corporate focus.

"I think you're not just seeing a rise in chief data officer, but you're seeing a rise in chief customer officer and customer experience officer roles that rely on the capabilities of the chief data officer," said Marous.

More data requires more personnel, and the entire business world is now coming around. There's a global focus on making better decisions with all the information at our fingertips.