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CHAPTER 7
Leading from the front – what a Chief Data Office could and should do
The role of the Chief Data Officer and expectancies of the Chief Data Office have changed considerably since the first Chief Data Officer arrived in 2002. This change has, of course, coincided with a maturing internet and the rise of data as a commodity. 
The CDO function has become necessary as data has grown as a true business priority. In today’s multi-functional business landscape, there is an increasingly pressing need for a leader to understand and advocate data at the highest level of an organisation. That leader is the Chief Data Officer, but the Chief Data Office as a whole has the opportunity and the responsibility to affect change across the organisation and lead the formation of a strong Data Culture. Why the experience of data matters A recent behavioural study that we have undertaken* has revealed a hesitancy among respondents to using data to drive decision-making in their daily roles. While there are many complexities involved as to why this is the case, fundamentally it boils down to people not feeling empowered to use data in their daily work. The role of the CDO and the Chief Data Office can and should be set-up to change this. The CDO has the ability to set the strategic direction for data in an organisation, be the engine to drive data-change and own business-critical functions and maintain them. To do this, the value of data needs to be demonstrated across the organisation, not just in silos. However, more than this, it needs to be articulated that the value of data will impact each individual positively as they perform their daily activities. The CDO then has the dual function of leading the strategy and direction for data across an organisation in addition to ensuring that those ‘on the ground’ have a positive experience of data, to promote data-driven decision making and ensure lasting value for the organisation.
The value of data needs to be demonstrated across the organisation – not just in silos

What a CDO needs to be successful

STEER  Set the strategic direction for data in the organisation. Define the KPIs by which the CDO will hold itself and others to account. Lead and live the Data Culture within the organisation – driving data-led behavioural change.
CHANGE  Provide the people, skills and delivery patterns to execute change initiatives. Deliver the change projects for data capabilities within the CDO and the wider organisation. Define approach to prioritise projects which have the highest business impact and deliver the most value.
RUN  Run the enablement processes which maintain the foundational data capability. Maintain the policies, capabilities, solutions and infrastructure which make up your data landscape.
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