Anne Buff, thought leader in the Best Practices Team at SAS, gave a keynote address on the need for chief data officers at Information Management’s MDM & Data Governance Summit, which was held this week in New York. She spent a few minutes with group editorial director John McCormick after her talk.

You talked about the role of the CDO. What is a CDO?

A CDO is a chief data officer. It is the executive-level attention to data that [data] has always deserved. It’s important because there is not a seat at the table right now for the voice of data. So they become the voice of data in the boardroom.

Why do you need one?

One, to save CIOs from burnout. There is stuff falling off their plates. The CDO can come to the rescue. Second, to put a laser focus on data as a whole. We can’t get value out of data if we don’t give it attention.

What else?

To understand the data that’s being fed into the organization. [Many organizations don’t have] that focus right now – we’re just going through the process and reacting to what data is. We’re not being proactive. So, if we have somebody as a CDO, taking charge of our data strategy, we’re going to be able to [find a] competitive edge and innovation.

 

For more information about the need for a CDO, click here.

For Anne Buff’s article on data's ethical landmines, click here.

For more insights from the MDM & Data Governance Summit, click here.