The Case for the Chief Data Officer

The Case for the Chief Data Officer

Recasting the C-Suite to Leverage Your Most Valuable Asset

1st Edition - April 22, 2013

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  • Authors: Peter Aiken, Michael Gorman
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124114951
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780124114630

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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.

Key Features

  • Uncovers that almost all organizations need sophisticated, comprehensive data management education and strategies.
  • Delivery of organization-wide data success requires a highly focused, full time Chief Data Officer.
  • Engineers organization-wide data advantage which enables success in the marketplace

Table of Contents

  • Dedication


    About the Authors


    Executive Summary

    How to Obtain a Data Advantage

    Chapter 1. Introduction – Speaking of Data (Big, Little, Dark …) in Anticipation of the Impending Tsunami

    Chapter 2. Understanding the Current C-level is not Data-Knowledgeable

    2.1 Chapter Overview

    2.2 Who is Your Data Chief?

    2.3 Chief Officers

    2.4 The Broad Technology Focus of Most CIOs

    2.5 CIO Preparation – Agreeing on Uniform Qualifications

    2.6 What are the CIO DATA Function Challenges as Currently Practiced?

    2.7 Chapter Summary

    Chapter 3. Developing Your Organization’s Data Leveraging Capabilities

    3.1 Chapter Overview

    3.2 Engineering Leverage for your Data Advantage

    3.3 Architecting Data Leverage

    3.4 Data Strategy Development

    3.5 An Alternative Approach to IT Development

    3.6 Data Centric Principles

    3.7 Assessing Data Leveraging

    3.8 Application Software/COTS Packages

    3.9 Chapter Summary

    Chapter 4. Focusing DM to Meet Common Organizational Challenges

    4.1 Chapter Overview

    4.2 Ubiquitous DM Challenges: Complexity, Degree, and Scope

    4.3 Objective Assessments of Organizational DM

    4.4 Why CIOs Fail to Recognize Needed DM Improvements

    4.5 Why it Might be Difficult to Change the Status Quo?

    4.6 Chapter Summary

    Chapter 5. Creating the Right Conditions for CDO Success

    5.1 Chapter Overview

    5.2 Where Should they Report?

    5.3 What Should they do? Primary CDO Challenges

    5.4 The Perhaps Temporary Nature of the CDO

    5.5 Chapter Summary

    Chapter 6. Conclusions/Suggestions


Product details

  • No. of pages: 88
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2013
  • Published: April 22, 2013
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124114951
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780124114630

About the Authors

Peter Aiken

Dr. Peter H. Aiken is an award-winning, internationally recognized thought leader in the area of organizational data architecture and engineering. As a practicing data manager, consultant, author and researcher, he has been actively studying these and related areas for more than twenty-five years. He has held leadership positions with the US Department of Defense and consulted with more than 50 organizations in 14 different counties. His achievements have resulted in recognition as one of 2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century and bibliographic entries in Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Who's Who in American Education and other recognitions. He is a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Founding Director of Data Blueprint, and part-time Visiting Scientist at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He was awarded the 2001 DAMA International Achievement Award and the Defense Information Systems Agency Career Recognition. He has published five books, including Building Corporate Portals Using XML with Clive Finkelstein (1999, McGraw-Hill) and the best-seller Data Reverse Engineering (1996, McGraw-Hill).

Affiliations and Expertise

Founder of Data Blueprint and Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virgina, USA

Michael Gorman

Michael Gorman has been involved in IT for over 45 years. He is the Secretary of the ANSI/INCITS Technical Committee on Database Languages, DM32.2 since 1978, co-authoring all SQL standards. Gorman worked for System Development Corporation which, with MITRE and Lincoln Labs invented data management. For the CIO of the U.S. Army he helped develop their data management program including policies, procedures, and seminars. Gorman brought Database Management Systems into Federal Agencies including the Army, Navy, Air Force, EPA, HUD, Commerce as well as State and local governments. He also provided data management consulting to Fortune 100 companies. As CEO of Whitemarsh (, Gorman provides consulting, methodologies, books, workshops and Whitemarsh Metabase, a metadata management system. He has authored numerous books, publishes regularly on The Data Administration Newsletter (, and has taught at Universities, at DAMA Chapters, and International Conferences.

Affiliations and Expertise

CEO of Whitemarsh Information Systems Corporation

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