Chief Data Officers: More Now Report to CEO


Chief data officers are rising in influence and power within enterprise organizations globally, according to a new survey by IT research firm Gartner, at an accelerating rate. Gartner's second annual survey of CDOs shows that 30% of these executives are now reporting to the CEO of their organizations, not to the CIO, and not as a part of the IT organization.

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

"That was shocking to us," said Mario Faria, managing VP of the office of the chief data officer at Gartner, in an interview with InformationWeek. Faria said Gartner expected this change in reporting, but it didn't expect it to happen so fast. "We expected that by 2019 that 80% of CDOs will be reporting to someone outside of IT."

Another shocking fact, Faria said, is that only 16% of CDOs are reporting to CIOs.

The change may highlight what has been a divide between CIOs and CDOs within organizations as they work to transform themselves for a new age of technology.

Read more of Jessica Davis's report on CDOs on InformationWeek.

Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps, Informationweek

Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG's Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise's eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology's MSPmentor. She's passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, predictive analytics, and big data for smarter business and a better world. In her spare time she enjoys playing Minecraft and other video games with her sons. She's also a student and performer of improvisational comedy. Follow her on Twitter: @jessicadavis.

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Re: Changing channels
  • 11/30/2016 3:43:16 AM
NO RATINGS

@rbaz And since data is integral to every facet of the company, every level, not just the C-suite, needs data people.

Re: Changing channels
  • 11/30/2016 3:41:30 AM
NO RATINGS

@kq4ym I think that's simply a manifestation of a discipline's desire to be part of strategic management. The easiest way for your turf to be part of higher-order management thinking is to have a person of expertise there. I still do stand by the CEO-COO-CFO structure as the most essential; the issue with departments not being heard at the C-Suite is that the people there don't listen well enough. The COO, especially, has to be well-rounded and accommodating to the many departments often assigned to that role. If I'd add another post, it would be that of the CMO, completing the Marketing-Operations-Finance triad under the CEO. But many of the CEOs I know have a solid marketing background so the post is sometimes unnecessary.

Re: Changing channels
  • 11/20/2016 1:41:46 PM
NO RATINGS

Agreed. We either need to inform them better or look at other structures.

Re: Changing channels
  • 11/20/2016 3:00:49 AM
NO RATINGS

I completely agree, but egos won't allow them to admit it. Image and perception is big on c suite.

Re: Changing channels
  • 11/20/2016 12:34:30 AM
NO RATINGS

Th eonly issue is that most CEOs have no understanding of the process and would have little idea of where the real dangers are.

Re: Changing channels
  • 11/19/2016 10:51:34 PM
NO RATINGS

As data become more central in every facet, it can be the Achilles heal and the ceo should want to have his hands on the pulse. If not for streamlining access, but to preserve his own skin as he ultimately bears the blame should any catastrophic failure or breach.

Re: Changing channels
  • 11/16/2016 9:08:32 PM
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Agreed. Ihave also started seeing a trend to have the C level executives all report directly to the board. That gets even more confusing.

Re: Changing channels
  • 11/16/2016 9:01:13 PM
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It does seem that there is and will be a continuing trend as noted for all management to attempt to get "higher" up the ladder, the closer to reporting directly to the CEO the better for the ego and may the paycheck. Whether that's going to work out well for all size and manner of company structures is open to question.

Life in the world of org charts
  • 11/16/2016 7:14:41 PM
NO RATINGS

What I find particularly interesting about this article is that in a business environment where companies have to be fluid there is still so much emphasis on who people report into.

I think every org chart should come with a footnote saying, "This chart was outdated by the time the ink was dry." With new departments popping up, other departments being renamed, virtual teams forming and disbanding, and so much reliance on contractors and service providers the traditional org chart needs to go in the trash.

What people really need is a directory of who you contact for what type of issue, and it helps to have someone who can sign off on travel, days off, and expenses. Otherwise horizontal connections are becoming more important than the level of your name on a chart. You just need someone to ensure that work gets done and that it doesn't end up being duplicated by other workgroups.

Of course, those who have big egos care about who gets closest to the CEO. But they should be careful because if the CEO goes, they might get whacked too.

Re: Changing channels
  • 11/15/2016 7:47:52 PM
NO RATINGS

I agree. Just look at the examples of the CIO and the CMO. Both typically report to the CEO.

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