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7 Predictions for Chief Data Officers in 2016

Written by Corinium

7 Predictions for Chief Data Officers in 2016

Written by Corinium on Jan 15, 2016 11:29:00 AM

Big Data

Whilst the turn of the New Year already feels like a lifetime ago for many of us, we are still just about two weeks into 2016, providing an opportune moment to sit and ponder what the year ahead holds. Having now spent over two years working with in-situ, de facto and aspiring Chief Data Officers (CDOs), I began to wonder – What does 2016 hold for this ever-evolving and emerging job title? Without needing to look through a crystal ball, here are my objective predictions for 2016 – well, mostly predictions based on facts.

1) CDO appointment growth will continue all the way through 2016

Expect the global growth of CDO appointments to continue. Gartner forecasted that by the end of 2015, over 25% of large global organisations would have appointed a CDO; however, towards the end of last year, an Experian study found that a staggering 92% of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) were looking to appoint a CDO to drive their Big Data strategy. Indeed, just this week, New Vantage Partners revealed that over 54% of the organisations surveyed in their annual Big Data study had appointed a Chief Data Officer – a substantial increase on their 2012 estimate of 12%. As ‘Big Data goes mainstream’, it seems reasonable to suggest that this growth will continue all the way through 2016; where this growth occurs, though, is perhaps of most interest.

2) More organisations will have not just one, but multiple CDOs

Whilst companies like Ogilvy & Mather and Barclays have multiple CDOs divided by geographical regions, I believe that 2016 could see more organisations following in the footsteps of AIG, HSBC, Santander et al who not only have CDOs focused on regions but also lines of business. Many forward-thinking organisations have realised the benefits in having a Chief Data Officer focused on different products; for example, in the case of AIG, Consumer Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Life and Retirement etc. By appointing multiple CDOs, organisations are able to fully get to grips with their siloed data and ensure that all aspects of the business benefit from the expert eye of a CDO, with the potential of new business growth, cost savings and increased efficiency.

By appointing multiple CDOs, organisations are able to fully get to grips with their siloed data and ensure that all aspects of the business benefit.

 

3) There will be increased demand for CDOs in the Public Sector

In 2015, it was no secret that the U.S. Federal Government were one of the leading appointers of Chief Data Officers with the Department of Commerce, the Department of Transport and, of course, the White House appointing Chief Data Officers or Scientists. This is without even considering the multiple CDO appointments in State and Local Government agencies in the US, as well as in Europe and beyond. Indeed, with the Cabinet Office yet to formally hire a new Chief Data Officer in the wake of Mike Bracken’s department as the dual purpose Chief Digital and Chief Data Officer, there is certainly scope for future appointments there. With the appetite for Open Data, Small Government and public sector authorities constantly keen to cut unnecessary expenditure and inefficiencies, whilst improving the lives of citizens, the public sector may well be the place to go for current or aspiring CDOs seeking a new challenge in 2016.

4) Data Security will have renewed importance (and rightly so)

Towards the end of 2015, my colleagues and I noticed a marked increase in CDOs mentioning Data Security as one of their major concerns. In the past, it was something never really spoken about by CDOs and typically fell outside of their remit; however, following the wave of high-profile breaches in 2015, most notably the Ashley Madison, Carphone Warehouse and Anthem, CDOs are rightly becoming nervous about security and protection within their own organisations.

5) CDOs and CISOs will have a newfound friendship

Related to the renewed importance of data security, the need for coordination between CDOs and CISOs will be a key focus. As two US-based CDOs told me toward the end of last year, the real issue is that CDOs are deeply concerned by the potential impact of a data breach but do not have enough expertise on the security side. Meanwhile, Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) do not know enough about the data side. Therefore, they believe that CDOs and CISOs will need to work together more closely in 2016 to minimise the risk of data breaches and the impact that any potential breaches could have.

CDOs and CISOs will need to work together more closely in 2016 to minimise the risk of data breaches and the impact that any potential breaches could have.

 

6) US and Europe will retain leadership in terms of CDO appointments but…

Where in the world were most CDOs appointed last year was a contentious issue. Some analysts suggested that 2015 saw Europe outstrip the US in both appointments and total CDO numbers, with others arguing that the US had retained it’s eminence for the position. No matter which argument is correct, it is fair to conclude that the US and Europe are the dominant forces when it comes to number of CDOs. The Corinium Global Intelligence Forum Review 2015 found that well over 50% of the world’s CDOs reside in Europe and the US, with Australia and Asia being the next highest.

 

7) …Africa and the Middle East will start to grow its CDOs in 2016

However, as the trend continues to spread, we can expect to see Africa (especially South Africa) and the Middle East begin to contribute with their own CDOs. The Data Digest has recently covered the rise of the CDO in South Africa and we expect this drive to continue in 2016 as more organisations respond to the actions of competitors and adapt to the need for a data-centric business. Likewise, whilst the Middle East only has a smattering of CDOs or de factos at this point, it seems reasonable to suggest that, with their burgeoning business community, it’s only a matter of time until they begin to join the adoption curve, particularly within the Financial Services – an obvious starting point for CDO appointments in any geographical location.

By Adam Plom:

Adam Plom is the Global Head of Content for the CDO Forum. Adam has organised numerous CDO Forums in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia and recently featured in a Financier Worldwide magazine interview, titled: The Evolution of the CDO, as well as co-authoring The Chief Data Officer Forum Review. For enquiries, email: adam.plom@coriniumintelligence.com 

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