Gartner shows how to design the CDO office

There’s a new role in today’s modern businesses – the Chief Data Officer (CDO), and it’s seeing a fairly fast adoption rate.

Back in 2014 there were 400 CDO’s, according to analyst Gartner, while in 2015 there were 1,000. However, with the role being new, many companies don’t know how to structure and position it within a business.

Gartner proposes four organisational design principles:

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CDO Organisational structure

CDO Organisational structure[/caption]

CDO Organisation as an Engine Room: This principle says CDO’s office delivers operational data services, with the needs of the internal users in focus. It monitors data market developments and builds expertise in data asset usage.

Everyone's CDO Organisation: Similar to the Engine Room variant, it still focuses on the needs of the internal users, but the data is being used to transform business and create new digital business models.

CDO Organisation as a Business Service Provider: Operational data services are used both internally and externally.

CDO Organisation Is the Business: Information is used only externally, or is inseparable from the product line.

"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," said 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."

"There's no one correct way to design a CDO office — its structure and strength depend on how it is used by the evolving organisation," said Mr Faria. "In Gartner's model, the organisational design depends on four possible ways to organise and exploit the benefits of data within the business."