It's not quite a tidal wave, but the overall chief data officer (CDO) trend continues to build momentum.

Among the most recent CDO executive appointments and related moves:

Atkins -- a major design and engineering company -- expanded CIO Richard Cross's role to include chief digital officer responsibilities. Admittedly, chief digital officer and chief data officer roles aren't exactly the same. But their responsibilities are similar -- increasingly focused on how data is gathered and monetized. CEO Uwe Krueger said Cross will focus on opportunities across cloud, big data, social media and the consumerization of IT.

Clinical Ink, focused on patient engagement technology, hired Jonathan Andrus as chief data officer -- a newly created role at the company. He joins from BioClinica, where he spent more than a dozen years overseeing data management, data quality and related IT services. He's also been quite active in the Society for Clinical Data Management.

Georgia's State School Superintendent named Levette Williams to the newly created post of chief privacy officer. Williams will focus on protecting student data. Williams, previously technology management director for the school system, has overseen how the Georgia Department of Education has collected and reported on K-12 data since around 2000.

RadiumOne named Julien Braun senior director of data and platform, EMEA. Braun will oversee the consultancy's data team as it continues to expand across Europe. He previously was ZenithOptimedia France's chief data officer.

Reality Check

Roughly 60 percent of chief information officers hope to hire CDOs within the next 12 months to help their organizations gather, manage, protect, optimize and monetize data, according to Experian. 

Overall, the CDO trend seems to be building momentum -- though perhaps not at the rate that Experian's research predicted. The early movers include big manufacturing companies; media and advertising companies; government agencies; and financial services firms.

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