Informatica Releases Research on The Chief Data Officer's Role

CDOs Emerging as Key Member of Executive Teams as the Power of Data is Recognized as the Foundation of Digital Transformation

Paris - October 19, 2017Informatica, the enterprise cloud data management leader, today announced the findings of its research regarding the rapidly emerging role of the Chief Data Officer (CDO). The research, titled ‘The New Role of the CDO’, commissioned by Informatica and conducted in September 2017, interviewed 108 CDOs from the Electronic Business Group, France’s first major think tank designed to encourage digital innovation in business.

Based on the findings in the report, data is seen as an essential ingredient of innovation and the foundation for digital transformation. Respondents also stated that ensuring data governance will be a priority project for CDOs in the next 12 months, including setting clear rules for access and sharing and ensuring the quality and reliability of data. In addition, respondents agreed that the CDO will primarily report into the general management and marketing departments and that the CDO’s ultimate objective will be to enable businesses to create business value. Key findings in the report include:

  • 57 percent of respondents believe the key objective of the CDO is to democratize use of company data
  • 29 percent said the CDO needs to identify new data-driven business models
  • 13 percent said the reduction of costs and improvement of company performance are critical
  • Only 3 percent of CDOs do consider regulation as something that will stop their projects.

“The CDO role is becoming more prominent as organizations recognize that data is central to digital transformation,” commented Frédéric Brousse, country manager for France, at Informatica. “The key response needs to be an effective data management strategy if businesses are to make the most of their information assets. It’s essential to have a single point of contact leading that strategy, uniting the whole company behind a data-led business model. The business benefits of good data management can be huge - CDOs now have the chance to drive their companies towards greater efficiency, more effective governance and more actionable insights.”

Clearly, CDOs have a wide range of key responsibilities, including the establishment of governance, processes and practices to help the company move toward optimal use of their data. In that context, the report reveals there are three main projects CDOs intend to conduct over the next 12 months. On average, 71 percent of CDOs can rely on their own budget to achieve these goals:

  1. Guarantee data governance with clear access and sharing rules and ensure the quality and reliability of data
  2. Construct a single repository or catalog of data
  3. Mapping data to define its level of criticality

The report found that hybrid skill sets specializing in data science are among the most sought after by CDOs. The research revealed that CDOs have the most difficulty retaining data scientists, as their skills are rarer and more in demand than more technical skills such as data visualization or business intelligence specialists. In terms of skills the survey found:

  • 70 percent rely on hybrid profiles within their company – both data and business skills
  • 53 percent rely on data management specialists
  • 51 percent rely on data science experts

In order to conduct the data projects, the respondents see the CDO as a strategic lead, with 56 percent leading multidisciplinary teams. Of the respondents, 24 percent believe that the CDO should pilot projects directly and lead on budget implementation, whereas just 13 percent think the CDO should only play a supporting role. Most CDOs report to line-of-business divisions such as the marketing department (31 percent) or the board (31 percent), as opposed to the IT department.

In light of these findings, Informatica has compiled five key tips to help CDOs move toward holistic governance of their data:

  • Align business and technology teams around a common vision and data strategy
  • Identify key initiatives that are activated by a data strategy
  • Define a change management policy that develops a culture of data
  • Develop a comprehensive program that delivers additional value to the company
  • Deploy data governance to manage data resources and establish shared responsibility

About Informatica

Informatica, is the only enterprise cloud data management leader that accelerates data-driven digital transformation. Informatica enables companies to unleash the power of data to fuel innovation, become more agile and realize new growth opportunities, resulting in intelligent market disruptions. With over 7,000 customers worldwide, Informatica is the trusted leader in enterprise cloud data management. For more information, call +1 650-385-5000 (1-800-653-3871 in the U.S.), or visit Connect with Informatica on LinkedInTwitter Facebook.


Note: Informatica is a trademark or registered trademark of Informatica in the United States and in jurisdictions throughout the world. All other company and product names may be trade names or trademarks of their respective owners.

Maureen O’Connell
+1 650 385 4022 - office
+1 408 679 0648 - mobile

Shira Frantzich
+1 650 385 5674 - office