Introducing the Chief Analytics Officer

Data is everywhere. Whether on-site or in the cloud, data and the analysis of it are now among the most crucial deliverables in a company these days. However, with efforts at rapid digitalization that a lot of companies have begun during the previous twelve months, the goal of many Chief Information Officers (CIOs) has been making sure that a distributed environment for work is available and running smoothly. As a result, this has led to the introduction of a Chief Analytics Officer (CAO) or Chief Data Officer (CDO) to take care of the company’s vital gaps.

The goal of this article is to explore and discuss the job of the CAO in further detail. Also, the article seeks to explore the question of whether an business gains more through having two separate roles of CAO and CDO or would be better served and more agile by combining the two jobs in one individual.

Thinking Beyond Mere Designation

Ultimately, the job title is of no consequence. The real matter at hand of importance is whether the necessary tasks get done, and data is properly analyzed and handled. In a lot of ways, this point is reflective of the variety of roles that are witnessed to exist in the industry, especially when it comes to how the roles are advertised on job boards and filled by candidates for the position. It’s critical to accomplish the mission.

CIOs have been dealing with vendor relations, technology development, and the management of data and analytics. However, given the business environment of the present day, this can yield two issues – staff becoming overwhelmed with the needs of the business data and being criticized lagging too much on the analytics process. The following sentence might best summarize the expectations put on today’s CIO: “When a company becomes at a competitive disadvantage because analytics are unavailable for insight and action, the blame is placed on the CIO.”

Splitting the tasks into the jobs of CAO and CDO is required if the amount of data and the depth of analytics is so vast that you need two separate focused executives to manage each. In a smaller, less dynamic organisation that still needs to be data-driven, the same person can fill both roles, regardless of the job title.

About the skills

There are also several skills required to complete the tasks to think about for these roles (or this role). The necessary skills include the following: understanding the business, strategic thinking, and leadership and communication skills.

I would emphasize that combined with an understanding of the technology behind data science and analytics, there must be good comprehension of data management, too. This must encompass aspects like data inventory, data cataloguing, data governance, data lineage, and so on.

Thus, the focus needs to be mainly on the skill set and how data can be best analyzed and handled, instead of being placed on the title of the job. The moment for change has arrived and businesses need to embrace this across all levels of the company and not focus only on enabling distributed working.

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