Evolution and adaption- the role of the Chief Data Officer

Liam Wilson our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 12/9/2014 4:01 PM

In the words of Sun Tzu...

As the management of any successful business institution will tell you the infrastructure surrounding trade must evolve to fit the needs of the market. To paraphrase Sun Tzu we all essentially agree that strategy guides and implements the process of evolution and this, in turn, leads to success. 

In a business landscape where effective data utilisation dominates the evolving of processes it would seem self evident that the shaping of the topography, flow and practical implementation of held data resources is vital. In fact the management of data assets is so important that it is key to the continued success of data reliant institutions.

Evolve to meet the demands of Big Data

The issue faced by institution is the recurring ‘big data’ problem. For a multi national for example there may well be many years worth of valuable data which has been gathered, stored, distributed and utilised over a range of platforms, systems and perhaps languages which ideally needs drawing together into a coherent whole. 

Evolution of approach was clearly needed and a method usually employed to untangle the occasionally ugly mass of information is the appointment of a Chief Data Officer.

How is the Chief Data Officer adapting and evolving?

The CDO has a multi-purpose function within an institution and, while the role will differ depending on the circumstances of the business needs, it will usually involve the following in a variable ratio.

  • The overview and strategic understanding of often-disparate data.
  • The rationalisation of data assets into a coherent and accessible whole.
  • The implementation of local and wide area strategy for the distribution and collection of key data.
  • The implementation of best practice based governance - including adherence to legal, regulatory and institutional requirements for storage and ultilisation of personal and other data.
  • The implementation of a system distribution of required data into a practical framework.

CDO or Architect?

This is by no means an exhaustive list but we offer no apology for this as the few hundred words available in this article is woefully short for a subject that is highly complex in nature. 

The individual needs of the institution will bend and shape the above list and some of them may become unrecognisable as a result. This is (as it should be) because the role of the CDO can be thought of as the guiding hand of data systems evolution within a business environment. The data must flow from storage to usage and the CDO is the architect of that flow. 

Sometimes one sees a moment of pure evolution in action. The Chief Data Officer is as good an example of this as any in recent business history. Big data needs to be mastered and it is only natural that a role has developed to facilitate that.

Related blog & news

With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out the related posts below.

The Dialogue: IR35 - What You Need To Know

For the latest episode of The Dialogue, Associate Director Dan Lewis sat down with Andy Dagnall from Contract insurance specialists Kingsbridge to talk all thing IR35. Here's what we learnt: - Understanding your current workforce and who your contractors are should be the first step for any business looking into IR35.  - Businesses should be set up better now there has been a delay. Getting IR35 right in the current economic is so much more important than it was the first time round. - Blanket bans on contracting don't factor in the risks of projects not being completed and loss of talent.  - The Public Sector tried blanket bans and they didn't work. They've now bounced back by embracing a new way of working.   - There are online tools to help determine a contractor's status in regards to IR35 and Harnham have our own tool for this stage of the process.  - Collaboration will be key for both businesses and contractors. Working with third parties will help make the process easier.  - It is almost essential that contractors take out insurance to mitigate the risk of a wrongful determination.  - Status determination can change throughout a project. An inside determination at one stage of a project won't necessarily stay that way for the duration.  - Contractors will have more trust in businesses that have a robust process in place.  - Contractors can get a working practices review done now so they can approach recruiters or businesses with an understanding of where they will fall with IR35.  - The most important thing in a status determination is being honest.  - And much, much more.  You can watch the full conversation below:

Is Contract Work For You?

Remote work. Working from home. Flexible options. Contract work. The opportunities are endless in every industry when it comes to ways to work, but for Data professionals, its benefits are expounded. Consider this. You’ve been in the Machine Learning vertical for a number of years, but your interests are drawn towards Robotics. How do you make the leap? How do you know it’s for you? What if you could ‘try before you buy’? If the current job climate has you reassessing where you are and where you want to be, you may want to think about contract work. It gives you the perfect opportunity to join a new project, lead a new project, or recharge yourself with new ideas from a different location. Three Benefits of Contract Work Demand – Data professionals are always in high demand, and those with the balance of technical and soft skills have an even higher Steady Pay - Steady daily, weekly, or monthly pay for a finite amount of time.Flexibility – While how we work has changed, there are still elements of flexibility to entice even the most flexible options.  The three options above may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things these days, but imagine the possibilities.  It may seem like the best option is to keep your head down and hold on tight, but let’s imagine a scenario. You’re facing a problem at work that you’ve been trying to solve for weeks or months. You can feel an answer forming, but there’s something blocking you. The problem needs to be solved, but it’s something you can take a break from. Vacation is out of the question. After all, where would you go? Now, let’s imagine there’s a company who needs someone with your expertise. It’s a different project. A different team. A completely new environment. They don’t need a full-time employee, just someone who can step in and see what the others can’t. Or someone who can step in and lead a team for project of a day, a month, 3-6 months or more.  You join the team and over time, you’re surprised to discover, the answer escaping you from your permanent company has found its way to you. It’s a win-win. You feel refreshed, recharged, and if you’ve done well, you now have a choice. Do you go back to your old company or do you join the new company you’ve been working with for the last few months? Three Things To Be Aware Of In Contract It is, by its very nature, not permanent.Your salary isn’t guaranteed or steady over the course of a year. Flexibility is a double-edged sword giving both contract workers and employers the opportunity to change course at the drop of a hat. Data professionals are not only in demand, but those who have been in the industry for five years or more have more options than most. You are the professionals who can move into Contract work to refresh the way you work, find yourself recharged, and ready for whatever may come your way. You’ve worked with global and local teams on a variety of projects. You’ve joined or lead teams outside your comfort zone. You’ve gotten to experience another vertical within your industry. Where will your next steps take you? If you're looking for your next role in Data & Analytics, Contract or otherwise, we may be able to help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

RELATED Jobs

Salary

£200 - £300 per day

Location

London

Description

MARKET RESEARCHER £200-£300 PER DAY 3 MONTH CONTRACT REMOTE

Salary

£85000 - £90000 per annum

Location

London

Description

This is a great chance to join an inclusive and committed environment

Salary

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits + pension + gym + healthcare

Location

City of London, London

Description

Do you want to work for an exciting brand as part of their data science team on a range of different projects which will add value on a global scale?

recently viewed jobs