Joe Dossantos: The Role of Chief Data Officer

Chief data officers (CDOs) first appeared in enterprise organizations after the Sarbanes Oxley Act became law in the United States in 2002 to improve corporate governance controls. CDOs started with a trickle, but have since become a flood, now populating more than two-thirds of large enterprises, according to a recent survey by NewVantage Partners.

To explore this dynamic role in detail, we invited Joe Dossantos, newly minted CDO for the data and analytics software vendor Qlik. Joe is responsible for data governance, internal data delivery, and self-service enablement. He also evangelizes data and analytics best practices to Qlik customers.

Prior to joining Qlik, Joe led TD Bank’s data strategy, and built and ran the Big Data Consulting Practice for EMC Corporation's Professional Services Organization.

Key takeaways:

  • The CDO must align IT, business and data strategies, and balance creative self-service with central governance.
  • This includes standardizing IT and business team usage of terminologies, definitions, and processes to enable effective collaboration among data producers and consumers.
  • The CDO should champion data literacy: the ability to read, work with, analyze and argue about the implications of certain fundamental and unalterable facts. 
  • DataOps connects the worlds of discovery, operationalization, and measurement, to ensure data delivers its intended value.
  • Data literacy and self-service blur the lines between data producers and consumers, as consumers start to structure and prepare their own data sets.
  • The role of the business analyst will change dramatically in the next five years. The analyst will become more creative, exploring datasets, making new discoveries and finding new correlations, like a 21st Century Sherlock Holmes.
Kevin Petrie

Kevin is the VP of Research at Eckerson Group, where he manages the research agenda and writes about topics such as data integration, data observability, machine learning, and cloud data...

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