Data campaign

Prioritizing business value creation

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Executive summary Data is at the center of every application, process, and business decision. Nearly every organization is on a quest to become more data-driven to more quickly discover and act on insights. To accelerate this change, they are turning to chief data officers (CDOs) to ensure the organization is getting the most value out of its data. The CDO role is one of the newest C-level jobs, having first appeared at Capital One in 2002. Since then, many companies have created CDO positions—initially in financial services firms, then in some US federal agencies, and eventually across multiple industries. The role is relatively new, but it's changing—fast. While CDOs have historically been tasked to play defense with data (i.e., data management, minimizing risks), the growing appetite for data-driven everything is forcing the role to evolve. They are now focused on creating demonstrable value for their businesses and prioritizing projects according to their impact. According to our research, 42 percent of chief data officers define success as achieving business objectives, and 36 percent believe focusing on a small set of key analytics or artificial intelligence (AI) projects can deliver the most value. This shift in focus is likely to define the role for years to come and has raised several questions: How are CDOs shifting their strategic initiatives? What are the key challenges and opportunities in front of them? And how are CDOs approaching business value creation? To find the answers, we surveyed more than 350 data professionals around the world and conducted 25 one-on-one interviews to uncover what's top of mind for CDOs, how they are defining success, and how they are creating business value with data. 2

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