Nearly six in ten data enterprises have a CDO, report claims

Toni Sekinah, research analyst and features editor, DataIQ

The 2018 Global State of Enterprise Analytics Report has found that 57% of analytics-driven enterprises have a chief data officer (CDO) in place. Although this survey is the first of its kind to have been carried out by MicroStrategy, its VP of marketing Vijay Anand said that figures from Gartner and PwC in previous years also showed that numbers of CDOs have been growing dramatically.

Anand said: “In 2015-16, it was less than 10%, then it grew to about 30%.” This increase speaks to the growing importance of the role. “The metrics are all fairly in line that the CDO is becoming a prominent role. More people are taking formal designations as the CDO.”

Looking more closely at a national level, the countries with the highest proportion of respondents stating their organisation had a CDO were Brazil and the UK with 62% and 60% respectively. The country with the lowest percentage was the US with 49%.

"With the dawn of GDPR, it's the need to protect."

Team meeting presentation seen through glass wallThe enterprise analytics and mobility software company interviewed analytics professionals from Brazil, Germany, Japan, the UK and the United States. When asked what are the barriers to more effective use of data and analytics within their organisation, 49% reporteddata privacy and security concerns.

Without results from previous years to provide context, it is difficult to detect a trend, but chief marketing officer Marge Breya believes these concerns stem in part from the implementation of GDPR. She said that ,as the years have gone by, the focus of privacy has changed.

“Over the last two years, so much in the privacy and security area started with a need to respect. Now, with the dawn of GDPR, it’s the need to protect - and fear,” said the CMO, referring to concerns about penalties and their impact on business finances.

"Knowledge is power to overcome fear."

Breya went on to list three things that will help overcome the challenge of privacy and security concerns. “Information and education is number one. Permission and documented permission is number two. And number three is an appropriate architecture, so that you know where your data is, how it is being used, and your permission bases associated with it. But knowledge is power to overcome fear.”

When asked in the survey what has had the most positive impact on the success of their analytics initiatives, 40% said creating an analytics strategy. According to Breya, the best way to do this is to understand the competitive nature of the business and the business process.

Anand added that strategy is combined of two elements: techniques and roles. He said: “It is important to have the right talent within the organisation. That could fall into your recruiting, planning your investment and hiring the right resources.”

63% are seeing improved productivity from their use of analytics.

The report also found that the top benefit that organisations are realising from their analytics initiatives is improved efficiency and productivity with 63% of respondents experiencing this. In terms of people and talent, there is a willingness to invest with 64% of respondents stating their enterprise will put more resources into hiring data and analytics talent over the next year. The same percentage say they are planning to invest more in their analytics initiatives over the next year.

The executives stated that MicroStrategy plans to produce another report next year which will hopefully reveal whether these trends have been realised and are continuing.

The survey was conducted in April 2018 with 500 analytics and business intelligence professionals who oversee or perform data analysis that informs business decisions.