The chief data officer: The CIO’s newest ally

As organizations shift to data-driven strategies, the CDO role is rising. But to succeed as an entity, the CIO and CDO must work in concert — with clear delineations in responsibilities.

The chief data officer: The CIO’s newest ally
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Jim Tyo, chief data officer at Nationwide Insurance, has a crystal-clear vision of his role: to help the company optimize the use of its data.

Tyo has 80 associates in the company’s Enterprise Data Office to help achieve that mission, with another 40 contactors rounding out the data team.

Yet Tyo is equally clear that his office needs to be well integrated with IT to succeed.

“We’re blurring the lines between IT, data and business units, and that makes the role of the CIO and the structure we have more critical, to make sure the data tools and the services and the strategy are available to drive business outcomes,” Tyo says.

Cooperation, Tyo says, is critical to maximizing the value of the company’s data program. At the same time, so is well-defined delineations between his job as CDO, the enterprise CIO and the business unit CIOs. And those boundaries have also been critical to establishing a productive partnership between data and IT.

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