Many organizations are setting up centralized data management departments. These departments may be called Enterprise Data Management, Enterprise Information Management or the Chief Data Office. Whatever they are called, these departments are accountable for getting their organizations to treat data as an enterprise asset, they share some common characteristics and they increasingly report into the business rather than IT. The leaders of these departments often carry the title of manager, director or vice president of enterprise data management or enterprise information management, and many of these leaders are now being anointed Chief Data Officers. In this article, we use the term Chief Data Office to refer to the centralized data management department, and we use the term Chief Data Officer (CDO) to refer to the leaders of these departments.

A Chief Data Office generally breaks new ground but is also fraught with several risks. When establishing a Chief Data Office, we recommend five areas of specific consideration.

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