Gartner- How can CDAOs create a strong brand for their role?

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data and analytics

Chief data and analytics officers (CDAOs) cite their influence on other executives as key to success, but, but they are not always seen as equals in the C-suite peers. CDAOs must establish a strong, differentiated, personal role-based brand to be accepted as true C-level executives.

To create a strong and successful brand, CDAOs should follow these recommendations.

Clarify the Mission and Role of the CDAO As A C-Level Executive

The mission and function of the CDAO role are still not clear in many organizations. According to a Gartner survey only one-third of organizations report that the CDAO function is well-established and successful. Many organizations do not fully understand the role of CDAOs and there is a lack of clarity about their responsibilities and deliverables.

The CDAO’s role is not a straightforward one. Some come from a technology background, some from a business background. In fact, the CDAO’s role spans technology and business, acting as a bridge or a liaison between the two. The CDAO must brand (or rebrand) themselves and their teams by understanding first how they are currently perceived and whether or not that perception serves them. Then, they must identify their current brand through the actions and words of others as well as their own assessment of their brand. It is relatively easy to do, but it requires courage and time.

Develop a Strong Differentiated Value Proposition

The CDAO should clearly communicate their responsibilities. Instead of trying to do everything, they should focus on the core areas until they are well-established. The Chief Data and Analytics Officer (CDAO) must transition from being a generalist to becoming an expert in strategic business alignment. This involves creating and implementing a data and analytics strategy that supports the overall goals of the business.

The CDAO is also responsible for overseeing all data and analytics initiatives, promoting collaboration between them, and providing support when necessary to achieve efficiency and promote best practices. They are also responsible for ensuring the governance and quality of data. Additionally, the establishing a program to improve data literacy among employees and leading to a shift in mindset and behavior towards making data-driven decisions is also one of the key responsibilities of a CDAOs.

Establishing a Link Between the Business and the Technology Function That Focuses on Data-Enabled Business Outcomes

Although CDAOs are responsible for achieving enterprise results through data and analytics, they cannot do so alone. As the purpose of data and analytics is to facilitate business outcomes, business leaders must also take responsibility for the data they generate, use, and, to some extent, control.

CDAOs should shift from being viewed solely as a technical or business role to one that encompasses technical, data, and business disciplines. They should identify potential internal and external stakeholders by utilizing an organizational stakeholder matrix. Engage these stakeholders with a stakeholder assignment map and prioritize the allocation of limited resources towards the most significant ones. Map out existing connections within the organization and find opportunities to expand organizational networks.

Gartner analysts will be discussing insights, strategies and frameworks for CDAOs and D&A leaders at the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, taking place April 24-25 in Mumbai, India.

Author: Debra Logan, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner

Image credits: Image by pressfoto on Freepik

Read next: Gartner: Top data and analytics predictions for 2024

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