Effectively running a business in the digital age is complicated, to say the least. With an endless amount of incredible challenges and opportunities, every company should prioritize keeping pace with changing technologies, consumer behaviors, and expanding their digital knowledge. Of course, any modern business strategy likely weaves together the traditional with ever-increasing digital platforms. From web and mobile to social and local campaigns, there’s a plethora of invaluable data that goes untouched or misused. 

This is a serious dilemma for companies who—try as they might—simply don’t have the know-how or capacity to take advantage of potential digital strategies and create effective change across a business platform. There is, however, an answer to this problem, the CDO. 

What is a CDO?

CDOs or Chief Data Officers can wear several hats, but their position primarily consists of helping a business effectively use their digital information and utilize modern technologies, either for the fact that a company didn’t have the ability to do this, or simply no means. Although the term CDO hasn’t changed since its title first appeared a decade ago, data strategies, technology, and machines have. Thus, the CDO’s responsibilities are not entirely as they once were. If you’re familiar with CDOs of the past, that image has likely changed. 

In its simplest form, the responsibilities of a CDO have been and continue to be driving and executing digital strategies that competently boost digital revenues, drastically improve customer engagement, and optimize overall operations. Indeed Gartner suggests that the next wave of CDOs will be focused on product management improvements based on data.

Where Can a Fractional CDO Help?

The ultimate goal of a CDO is to align a company’s data strategy to accomplish the organizational vision and mission.  At Align BI, we’ve built a framework where we first evaluate the 10 pillars of your data organization. These pillars include: 

  • Analytics & Machine Learning
  • External Monetization
  • Data Quality
  • Compliance
  • Data Integration

We evaluate and score each area, build out the data strategy, craft an implementation plan, and finally setup ongoing evaluation and improvements of the plan.  Once the data strategy has been set, the hard work of change and implementation begins. 

Who needs a CDO?

You may eventually need a full time CDO depending on your company’s growth.  But, in the meantime, bringing in a fractional CDO to help craft your data strategy is often a great way to jump start the process.  This allows you to avoid the typically substantial salary of hiring a full time CDO but still make significant progress toward getting a solid data strategy in place that aligns your organization’s vision and mission with your data strategy.