Gartner Predicts 15 Percent Of Successful Chief Data Officers Will Move To CEO, COO, CMO Or Other C-Level Positions By 2020

Gartner, Inc.'s second annual chief data officer (CDO) survey* has found that early adopters of the CDO role and the office of the CDO (OCDO) are pioneering a new organizational function, to go alongside IT, business operations, HR and finance.

Organizations that have made the strategic decision to introduce the CDO role are looking to get as much new value as possible from this position. Thirty percent of the surveyed CDOs said they report directly to the CEO. CDOs are adding to the competitiveness of their companies by contributing to strategic planning and decision making, and by leading digital business initiatives. As a result, Gartner predicts that, by 2020, 15 percent of successful CDOs will move into CEO, COO, CMO or other C-level positions.

"The office of the CDO is being established as an operational department with the appropriate staffing, budget and responsibilities," said Debra Logan, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "Fifty-four percent of the organizations we surveyed said that their OCDO was fully or partially implemented, with a further 20 percent already exploring, planning to explore or planning to implement an OCDO within the next year. Only 19 percent said they are unlikely to implement an OCDO."

Gartner analysts discussed the CDO role, and how CIOs can create a positive working relationship with their CDO, during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2016, which is taking place here until Thursday.

According to the survey, the main business objectives of the OCDO are to increase customer intimacy (62 percent), competitive advantage (60 percent) and efficiency (54 percent). Respondents said that the main organization-wide responsibilities are oversight of analytics initiatives (69 percent) and data governance (68 percent). Next come responsibilities for defining the analytics strategy for the organization and ensuring information reliability and value (64 percent each).

As the use of data and analytics continues to rise, data and analytics-related crises will continue to plague businesses that fail to implement the CDO role and an OCDO. "While only 27 percent of those surveyed identified a specific data or analytics-related crisis or problem as their reason for creating the CDO role, some of the other identified objectives point to this," said Jamie Popkin, a Gartner vice president and Gartner Fellow. "Twenty-four percent of the respondents said that the board of directors wanted the role. Whatever prompted a high degree of board-level involvement in the creation of the new operational function must have had a major operational impact, or been thought likely to have such an impact in future. The board's involvement, together with the responses pointing to a specific crisis or problem, and the 41 percent of respondents who said that the CEO or CFO wanted the role, makes it safe to assume that this was a major strategic decision that affected business operating models."

CDOs Are Responsible for Creating and Integrating Enterprise Data and Analytics Capabilities

The OCDO accommodates a wide range of roles emphasizing data and information management, data quality, business analytics and information architecture. "Most CDOs said that their role will focus on two key responsibilities," said Mario Faria, a managing vice president at Gartner. "Sixty-seven percent of the respondents said they are acting as a champion or change agent in leading the organizational changes required to create and sustain enterprise data and analytics capabilities. Sixty-one percent are leading the effort to ensure that data and analytics are integrated into the business strategy and roadmap."

The CDO's Relationship With IT Leaders

Most respondents said they have developed positive working relationships with IT leaders. "While most early holders of the CDO role said they treat the CIO as an ally or partner (62 percent), the relationship between the CDO and the CIO will remain crucial," said Mr. Popkin. "Strategy development, decision-making power and funding will be sources of contention between IT leaders and the OCDO as the role of the CDO becomes more broadly established."

Gartner clients can read more in the report: "Survey Analysis: Second Gartner CDO Survey — The State of the Office of the CDO."

*For Editors:

The 2016 Gartner Chief Data Officer Survey was conducted in July and August 2016 with 180 chief data officers, chief analytics officers and other high-level data and analytics leaders from across the world.

About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world's most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT leaders, uniting a global community of CIOs with the tools and strategies to help them lead the next generation of IT and achieve business outcomes. More than 23,000 CIOs, senior business and IT leaders worldwide will gather for the insights they need to ensure that their IT initiatives are key contributors to, and drivers of, their enterprise's success.

Video replays of keynotes and sessions are available on Gartner Events on Demand. Follow news, photos and video coming from Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on Smarter With Gartner, on Twitter using #GartnerSYM, and on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo include:

November 15-18, Goa, India

February 28-March 2, Dubai, UAE

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. The company delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the valuable partner to clients in approximately 10,000 distinct enterprises worldwide. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, USA, and has 8,300 associates, including more than 1,800 research analysts and consultants, and clients in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

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