It seems like an obvious idea - the Chief Data Officer who is 'in-charge' of the information assets of a company. As opposed to the Chief Information Officer who cares more about the mechanisms that move the information around. Gartner says the title CDO is increasingly common. We think it's going to be short lived.
Let's use recent history as our guide and look past the trees and into the forest. Three years ago, the pundits said Big Data was the shiny new thing. And the Big Data vendors in vogue sold the components of the infrastructure that could store a lot of information. You could look down the road then and ask: Is storing and accessing the data the value - or is turning the data into information the value? And now today, Big Data is just data. Just a technology set for people, mostly developers, to use.
And so it will be with the CDO. We don't value DATA. We value INFORMATION.
Uh oh. That job title is already spoken for. But there is an answer - a more aspirational title and purpose than data wrangling. Data begets Information, and Information begets Intelligence.
Step back from staring at the bark on one tree and you'll see the Chief Intelligence Officer emerge. What's their job? Find, distill and distribute intelligence to each executive that needs it - ideally proactively.
Executives the world over scratch around the Internet everyday seeking a tidbit of information that can help them that day. The Chief Intelligence Officer removes that burden with systematic intelligence gathering and distribution to the specific employee who can use it to help the company create predictable growth in an unpredictable market.