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Many organizations still don't quite understand the role of the CDO

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The position of Chief Data Officer (CDO) is surrounded by a measure of confusion and uncertainty, which means many firms struggle to find and retain the right candidates and CDOs go without the necessary support.

This is according to a new report, published by the analytics database firm Exasol, which claims that half of CDOs believe the value of their role isn’t fully recognized in the business world. Furthermore, 46 percent said most businesses have skewed expectations of the CDO.

As a result, businesses can’t seem to find the right person for the job, and CDOs have the lowest tenure of all C-suite executives; 16 percent of CDOs said they only stayed in their last for for between one and two years.

High demand and headhunting play a role in this situation, but so do the lack of support and resources and lack of a clearly defined job description.

On top this, Exasol says most businesses are hiring CDOs with technical expertise, hinting that this might actually be the wrong approach to the problem. “Just three percent” of CDOs were from an arts/creative background, the company said.

For CDOs to prosper, they’d need more support from the C-suite, and a better education system to show the appeal of a data career to the next generation.

“At a time when data-driven companies consistently outperform their peers, strong data leadership can make the difference between success and failure,” said Peter Jackson, Chief Data and Analytics Officer at Exasol.

“Data holds astonishing amounts of potential value for businesses, but none of that value is accessible until it’s translated into the insights that lead to business outcomes. A greater open dialogue between CDOs and prospective employers is the best way to address the current disconnect and create a real mutual opportunity for positive change that will allow everyone to prosper.”

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.