Gartner identifies 4 ways to build the office of the CDO

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The rapid adoption of the chief data officer (CDO) role — from 400 in 2014 to 1000 in 2015 — raises important questions about the structure and positioning of the office of the CDO in organisations,says Gartner.

The analyst firm says there are four organisational design principles that CDOs should apply when designing their office.

“The organisational design of the office of the CDO must clearly take account of the role that data is expected to play in the organisation," says Mario Faria, research vice president at Gartner. "Most CDOs, however, are new to the role and often have little experience with managing large teams or designing and changing organisational structures."

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"There's no one correct way to design a CDO office — its structure and strength depends on how it is used by the evolving organisation," says Faria.

To help CDOs and other business leaders meet the needs of their organisation and structure the office of the CDO appropriately, Gartner lists four value propositions for the office of the CDO.

Figure 1: Possible Value Propositions of the Office of the CDO

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Source: Gartner (February 2016)

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"The CDO organisational design is about people," says Faria. "It is easy enough to think about what kind of CDO an organisation needs in order to meet its business goals, but it can be harder to put in place the right people to deliver on that structure.

“It's vital CDOs think critically about what skills and behaviours will be required by the office of the CDO in the short, medium and long term,” he concludes.

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