The Evolving Role of the Chief Data Officer

The Chief Data Officer evolution has been nothing short of miraculous, placing them near or at the heart of business decisions. What's next?


A Chief Data Officer evolution

It’s all very well collecting and storing mountains of data, however being a successful CDO is all about coming up with viable solutions on how data can be used to derive value for businesses. In 2022, most large businesses need a CDO to help organise their digital transformation strategy and data management. The role of Chief Data Officer is a relatively new career position in the tech era and yet the Chief Data Officer revolution is one of the most interesting.

With Chloe Tilley moderating, the speakers of this roundtable include:

  • Christina Finlay, Director Data & Analytics, Nest Corporation
  • Dr Frank Moser, Sales Director, Continental Europe, WANdisco
  • Jeanine Norden, CPO, Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Ltd
  • Nuala Kennedy-Preston, CDO, People’s Postcode Lottery
  • Roberto Maranca, Data Excellence VP, Schneider Electric
  • Samir Boualla, CDO, ING Bank (France) 

The roundtable debate between the panelists kicks off with moderator Chloe Tilley posing the pertinent question to the guest speakers, what are the key responsibilities of a Chief Data Officer in 2022?



Culture Change and change management 

Christina Findlay, the Director of Data & Analytics for the UK government’s National Employment and Savings Trust (NEST), starts the roundtable debate with succinctly explaining how she feels one of the primary responsibilities of a CDO in 2022 is overseeing culture change and change management in a company. For Christina, the role of a CDO isn’t so much related to matters surrounding tech, but more encouraging an organisation to learn how to derive business value from the data it gathers. Jeanine Norden agrees with Christina’s emphasis on the importance of a CDO bringing ’value add’ to a company’s data while focussing intently on how data can help to drive change management. 

Roberto Maranca, Schneider Electric, believes the new role of CDOs, and thus the latest iteration of the Chief Data Officer evolutions, is to operate as a Chief Decision Officer who works hard to help companies make the best possible decisions as an organisation. 

Samir Boualla, CDO, ING Bank gives his insight into how he believes CDOs can help enable businesses to transform their approach to data as an organisation. Is data one of your top priorities as a business? Will data management be part of your organisation’s DNA? Samir also mentions that employees may require special training and new skills to help them understand data better.


Data at the heart of new projects

Chief Data Officers in 2022 must do their bit to ensure that data is at the heart of the strategic planning process. Nuala Kennedy-Preston, CDO for People’s Postcode Lottery pushes the point that board members need to bring up data strategy and planning in their board room discussions. Nuala mentions how the board room should debate how they can use data strategy to help them achieve their goals as an organisation. 

All members of the roundtable talk agreed on the notion that CFOs and other board members need to develop a greater understanding of how efficient data management can be used to save their business vast amounts of money. Roberto Maranca raised the point that he feels CDOs are vital to how modern businesses operate, yet the role is still perceived as more of a new, innovative craftsmanship than a recognised and respected profession.

The roundtable debate contributors are united in their belief that the Chief Data Officer evolution has made them indispensable to modern companies, and their hard work and contribution should definitely shape boardroom discussions in 2022. 

This roundtable debate on the Chief Data Officer evolution was created in partnership with Wandisco.

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