Organizations are creating, accessing and using more sources and types of information than ever. This trend, combined with the increasing need to understand how data is being used within an enterprise, is driving the need for chief data officers, according to Gartner Inc.

The research firm predicts that by 2015, 25 percent of large global organizations will have appointed CDOs. There are more than 100 CDOs serving in large organizations today, which is more than double the number in 2012, according to a blog post by Debra Logan, research vice president and Gartner Fellow.

Gartner also found that 65 percent of CDOs are in the U.S., while 20 percent are in the U.K. More than 25 percent of CDOs are women, almost twice as high as for CIOs (13 percent). The position is most common in heavily regulated industries, media and government .

CIOs should view the CDO as a peer and partner who can manage data and who has the knowledge, background and skills to do so , Logan says. This allows CIOs to focus on their main job concerns.

CDOs are appearing more quickly in some industries than others. Banking, government and insurance are the first three industries to adopt the CDO role.

It’s important to remember that CDOs do not "own" the data, Logan says. They might own key processes around the data and be in charge of some data — for example master data. The CDO coordinates the use of data in other places. This is exactly like a CFO, Logan notes, who owns a few financial processes such as consolidation and treasury, but other than that coordinates the use of capital throughout the organization.

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