Published on November 8, 2023, 11:35 pm

The role of the chief data and analytics officer (CDAO) is defined by Gartner as a business leadership role that takes primary responsibility for creating value through an organization’s data and analytics assets. The CDAO also oversees the data and analytics ecosystem. To be successful in this role, CDAOs must focus on presence, persistence, and performance to deliver measurable business results.

According to Donna Medeiros, a senior director analyst at Gartner, the most successful CDAOs outperform their peers by projecting an executive presence and building an agile and strategic data and analytics function. This enables them to shape data-driven business performance and operational excellence.

A survey conducted by Gartner of 566 data and analytics leaders found that 44% reported that their teams are effective in providing value to their organizations. The survey revealed that D&A leaders who rated themselves as “effective” or “very effective” across 17 different executive leadership traits correlated with high organizational and team performance. Top-performing D&A leaders invest in their success by developing skills to thrive in ambiguous circumstances, articulate compelling value stories, and identify D&A products and services that can drive business impact.

CDAOs face a broad range of responsibilities including defining and implementing D&A strategy, overseeing D&A governance, creating a data-driven culture change, and managing increased investments in areas such as data management, data governance, and advanced analytics. However, the lack of available talent has become a top impediment to D&A success. Building an effective D&A team requires CDAOs to have a robust talent management strategy that goes beyond hiring ready-made talent. This includes education, training, and coaching for data-driven culture and data literacy.

The survey also found that corporate or organizational strategy and vision play a significant role when prioritizing D&A initiatives. In fact, 78% of respondents ranked them among the top three inputs to the D&A strategy. Successful CDAOs prioritize strategy over tactics, ensuring alignment with strategic goals. They also focus on selling the D&A vision to key influencers such as the CEO, CIO, and CFO.

In conclusion, while data and analytics offer great potential for value creation, it is important for CDAOs to project executive presence, be persistent in meeting new demands, and tie performance to business strategy. By doing so, they can overcome roadblocks and deliver measurable results that drive the success of their organizations.

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