The Case for the Chief Data Officer

Recasting the C-Suite to Leverage Your Most Valuable Asset


  • Peter Aiken, Founder of Data Blueprint and Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virgina, USA
  • Michael Gorman, CEO of Whitemarsh Information Systems Corporation

Data are an organization's sole, non-depletable, non-degrading, durable asset. Engineered right, data's value increases over time because the added dimensions of time, geography, and precision. To achieve data's full organizational value, there must be dedicated individual to leverage data as assets - a Chief Data Officer or CDO who's three job pillars are:

  • Dedication solely to leveraging data assets,
  • Unconstrained by an IT project mindset, and
  • Reports directly to the business

Once these three pillars are set into place, organizations can leverage their data assets. Data possesses properties worthy of additional investment. Many existing CDOs are fatally crippled, however, because they lack one or more of these three pillars. Often organizations have some or all pillars already in place but are not operating in a coordinated manner.

The overall objective of this book is to present these pillars in an understandable way, why each is necessary (but insufficient), and what do to about it.

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Book information

  • Published: April 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-411463-0

Table of Contents

Part 1 - Business Rot (or the Trouble with Normal)

  • Chapter 1 - The Requirements Pyramid
  • Chapter 2 - Business Reengineering Failures
  • Chapyer 3 - IT Project Failures
  • Chapter 4 - Poor Data Management Practives as a Root Cause
  • Chapter 5 - Poor Data Quality

Part 2 - Motivation (or Why Business Must Reexamine DM)

  • Chapter 6 - What do the various practice levels mean to your business?
  • Chapter 7 - The Research, Educational, and Professional Basis for ADM
  • Chapter 8 - Characteristics of DM as a "Boutique" Practice
  • Chapter 9 - Characteristics of ADM in Business

Part 3 - Guidance (or How to Reorient Your DM Towards "Practices")

  • Chapter 10 - ADM's Role within Your Business
  • Chapter 11 - ADM's Role within IT
  • Chapter 12 - Requisite Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
  • Chapter 13 - ADM Education, Training, and Certification