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Who owns the data? I’ll give you a hint: It’s changing

Erin Haselkorn

As part of the data revolution, organizations are trying to better manage and manipulate their information. They need to build a trusted data resource that they can use to generate revenue, gain a competitive advantage, and better serve their customer base.

But who is responsible for managing and manipulating that data? Who should champion that resource within the business to make sure it is used properly?

We broached the question of data ownership in our recent global data management benchmark survey and found that, today, most respondents believe the IT department owns the data. However, we are also seeing the business owns the data some of the time. Smaller numbers of respondents believe the CEO or CIO own the data. In some instances, you have a Chief Data Officer (CDO) in place who owns the data.

While many argue that IT owns the stewardship and storage of data assets, the volumes of data and the shift to cloud-based storage services are changing this model. More and more, organizations are asserting that business users should own the data. They are the ones using the information to benefit the business and who have the context around how it was created. In fact, 89 percent of US businesses believe responsibility for data should ultimately lie within the business with occasional help from IT.

That is a fairly big shift from where we are today. However, we also see from the research that the current methods for data management are not working. On average, companies believe about 30 percent of their data is inaccurate and 89 percent of C-level executives say inaccurate data is undermining their ability to provide an excellent customer experience. To improve the level of inaccuracy, businesses need to make some big investments in the people, processes, and technology surrounding their data.

One of the investments many businesses are making around the people is investing in a Chief Data Officer. They are the new layer of leadership emerging focused solely on data. Business users want more access to information and the CDO is often the champion for data within the business. They help handle data from a regulatory perspective, but also work diligently to find ways data can add new value to the business.

You might think much of this is already covered with technical roles, like the CIO. However, these tasks and cross-departmental efforts often fall by the wayside. Seventy-six percent of CIOs say their current role fails to cover the majority of responsibilities a CDO would have.

These new research trends show that the management and organizational structure around data is changing. In the months and years ahead, I expect more businesses will find success in leveraging data as they put it in the hands of their business users and find new leadership focused on the opportunities data can provide.

Interested in learning more?

Check out this webinar