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Informatica Launches Inaugural Global Study on the Office of the Chief Data Officer

Announced at the 14th annual MIT Chief Data Officer and Information Quality Symposium, study finds CDOs are increasingly seen as strategic business leaders but face critical challenges

Informatica, the enterprise cloud data management leader, announced findings from the inaugural IDC global survey of the office of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) examining the CDO’s challenges, priorities and key performance indicators (KPIs) while operating in the digital economy.

The results were launched at the 14th annual MIT Chief Data Officer and Information Quality Symposium and provide context for exploring data intelligence for organizational performance and demonstrate that CDOs are increasingly seen as strategic business leaders but face challenges in their expanded roles.

Commissioned by Informatica, the IDC InfoBrief, “Chief Data Officers: The New Business Leaders,” surveyed more than 1,200 members of the office of the CDO, across 10 countries including AustraliaFranceGermanyIndiaJapan, U.K., and the U.S., The survey was fielded during the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic, from February to April 2020. The IDC survey found that modern successful data leaders must be agile and flexible enough to juggle multiple priorities.

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“With the amount of data worldwide increasing exponentially, the role of the CDO is becoming critical as one of the cornerstones of digital transformation,” said Stewart Bond, Director, Data Integration and Intelligence Software Research at IDC. “While 70 percent of organizations have articulated the need to be more data-driven, most still aren’t getting the full value out of their data. Our research uncovered that this is due, in part, to misalignment between challenges and priorities created by the CDO’s evolving, broader responsibilities.”

Key Global Findings

  • 59% of CDOs report to a business leader, and directly reporting to the CEO was the organizational hierarchy most cited.
  • 80% of CDOs’ top KPIs are tied to business goals, such as operational efficiency, customer satisfaction and success, data privacy and protection, innovation and revenue, and productivity and capacity.
  • 71% of CDOs have four or fewer data stewards, despite broad responsibility and diverse collaboration requirements.

“In the Data 4.0 era, where companies are accelerating investments in AI and machine learning, the digital economy requires a new generation of data workers and leaders,” said Amit Walia, CEO of Informatica. “The new, post-pandemic business conditions also taught us that more workers need to understand data and be able to access and use it broadly and consistently. Today, more than ever before, data strategy must be a C-suite priority, and the CDO should report to the highest levels of business leadership.”

“Reporting into the CEO is critical to my success as CDO,” said Sri Mishra, Chief Data and Technology Officer at JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes research. “It’s also imperative that I map our data and analytics strategy to organizational processes and goals, in order to demonstrate the link to mission outcomes. By deploying a cloud first, cloud native data and technology platform, we’re enabling more data-driven decisions that keep us focused on fundraising, research and advocacy efforts.”

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Top Challenges for CDOs

While CDOs are increasingly seen as business leaders, shifting priorities have created some misalignment. The study outlined some of the top priorities and challenges facing modern CDOs, including:

  • 62% of respondents report cloud as a significant challenge, including:
    • Data ingestion, quality, governance and privacy as part of cloud data warehouse and cloud data lake deployment
    • Mapping, transforming and cleansing master data as part of application modernization (SaaS)
    • Ensuring appropriate privacy protection for data in motion and at rest across multi-cloud environments
  • 88% of respondents report metadata as a significant challenge, including:
    • Data discovery, domain identification, and classification
    • Mapping business glossary terms to technical metadata
    • Mapping data lineage, process flow and proliferation
  • 50% of respondents report data is not being used to drive better business results because of challenges including:
    • Collaboration on common business definitions for critical master data elements
    • Lack of data literacy and skilled headcount
    • Enabling self-service data access while maintaining compliance

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