Get to Know the CDO

Chief Data Officer (CDO) may be one of the newest C-suite designations, and it's quickly becoming one of the most important. With data-driven government becoming a mandate via the Federal Data Strategy and the Evidence Act, accountability around data management is essential. More than just a way to check a compliance box, having a CDO is a smart business decision in a world where data is critical to how government organizations interact with constituents. However, having a CDO is only a start. The CDO needs to be set up for success as well.

One report indicated that 60% of federal CDOs lack a clear understanding of their role. According to Gartner, a CDO is a senior executive who bears responsibility for enterprise-wide data and information strategy, governance, control, policy development, and effective exploitation. This role makes sure data is secured appropriately for access, as well as privacy concerns, and sets the rules and processes for managing the data lifecycle. The CDO also develops solutions to use that data to create business value.

Even if the role is defined within an organization, CDOs report they lack budget authority or insight into what budget they have to complete their jobs. This mirrors what we have seen with another "young" position, CIOs. Chief Information Officers have seen their role elevated by its measurement in the FITARA scorecard, and with that tracking, are getting more budget authority and input. In addition to budget, CDOs also need the authority to set and enforce policies and processes across their organization and, in doing so, streamline communication among related groups.

There are a number of events that can help CDOs and their organizations as they settle into their new roles and introduce new processes across government. Here are just a few:

  • Intelligence Analytics (April 8-9, 2020; Virtual Event) - As the cyber battlefield escalates and systems are flooded with information, the ability to mine, process, and analyze the data in a speedy manner and deliver reliable and actionable intelligence is key to insuring advantage against adversaries.This event brings together top leaders from across U.S. Intelligence agencies and from government and military branches to provide a shared platform for information exchange of best practices and leading technologies.
  • Federal Data Strategy Conference (June 10, 2020; Washington, DC) - 2020 will be a year of action for the Federal Data Strategy. This event will highlight the policy, activities (pilot projects underway) and benefits of this important aspect of the President's Management Agenda. Subject matter experts from Government, Industry, and Academia will share successes to date and expected benefits moving forward.
  • Data in Action Summit 2020 (Rescheduled to September 9, 2020; Washington, DC) - Join top leaders and decision-makers from the public-sector IT community as they discuss the importance of enterprise data management, the explosion of the chief data officer role in government agencies, how organizations can comply with new requirements for their data set forth in the Open Government Data Act of 2019 and the 2020 Federal Data Strategy Action Plan, and the role data plays in the technology of tomorrow.
  • Gartner Data and Analytics Summit (Rescheduled to September 21-24, 2020; Grapevine, TX) - Data governance and ethics must be established and supported. Data literacy is imperative. Data and analytics leaders, including CDOs and CAOs, must evolve their organizational culture to survive and thrive in these times of change. This event offers content for every member of data and analytics teams - from technical to senior-level strategy.

What insights are you hearing from pioneering CDOs? Tell us about them in the comments.

To find more government events, please visit GovEvents for our complete listing of conferences, webinars, and on-demand training.

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