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Increased Data Storage Calls for More Chief Data Officers

Top-level positions in the IT field are growing at an alarming rate. One role in position, that of the Chief Data Officer, has seen a tremendous upswing not only in the number of qualified candidates, but in the amount of candidates that are actually being hired on to oversee vast increases in data storage on behalf of small, medium and large-sized businesses.

What is a Chief Data Officer?

The primary objective of a chief data officer, sometimes abbreviated to CDO, is to facilitate company-wide data governance in the form of ongoing data administration, protection, mining, security and more. An executive-level staff member, a chief data officer typically reports directly to the chief technology officer or chief executive officer of a company.

Crunching the Numbers

Gartner, one of the world's foremost consultants of IT research, recently published a report to disseminate their findings regarding the increase in chief data officers around the world. According to their research, which was compiled by leading experts in the field, 25% of all international corporations will maintain a dedicated chief data officer on staff at all times.

The report goes on to publicize the fact that there are now more than 100 chief data officers operating at various institutions around the world, with 65% of these organizations located in the United States Alone. An additional 20% of all functioning chief data officers are located within the United Kingdom, while the remaining 15% are located in various countries around the globe.

Additional figures taken from the report indicate that more than 25% of all chief data officers in operation today are located in either New York or Washington, D.C., showing the importance of data governance on the east coast of the United States. Furthermore, more than 25% of all current chief data officers are women, according to the report.

Gartner's vice president of research, Debra Logan, clarified these statistics in a recent statement by saying: "Chief data officers are appearing more rapidly in some industries than in others. Banking, government and insurance are the first three industries to adopt the chief data officer role and in that order. However, we are now seeing other industries following. For example, we saw the first significant appointments in the advertising industry in 2013."

The Future of Chief Data Officers

The need for even more chief data officers will only continue to increase as more organizations, including small, medium and large businesses, begin to embrace big data and cloud computing while recognizing the need for IT security and ongoing data governance. Furthermore, the expected increases of digital data in the coming years will certainly convince any reluctant business owner of the importance of an internal chief data officer.

Michael Corcoran, vice president of Information Builders, explained the important of chief data officers by stating: "How do we enable the business but also provide the safeguards, the security and availability of information. If it's not managed well by someone at a senior level, we're going to end up with a greater deal of discrepancy across the business and that will lead to other problems."

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