Gartner Finds 72% of CDOs Heavily Involved in Digital Transformation
May 14, 2021
percent of data and analytics (D&A) leaders with digital initiatives
are either leading or heavily involved in their organization’s
digital transformation initiatives, according to Gartner.’s sixth
annual Chief Data Officer (CDO) survey.
“The results indicate that more organizations now understand the
synergy between building a data-driven business and leading digital
Debra Logan, distinguished research vice
president at Gartner. “D&A strategy is a business
strategy infused with D&A thinking; it has a primary role in digital
business strategy, affecting everything the organization does.”
Gartner analysts presented these findings during the Gartner Data &
Analytics Summit 2021, which is taking place virtually in the
Americas through Thursday.
While only 24% of respondents said they are leading digital
transformation efforts, the boundaries between CDOs and chief
digital officers are becoming more and more blurred. CDOs are
increasingly being asked to take on more strategic objectives and
lead digital transformation initiatives as digital business itself
transforms to business as usual (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Percentage of Data & Analytics Leaders Involved in Digital
Source: Gartner (May 2021)
Prioritize Business-Facing KPIs to Enhance Influence and Impact
While data quality (51%), ROI from D&A investments (44%) and data
sharing (43%) are D&A leaders’ top objectives, their role will not
be seen as valuable unless they focus on stakeholders’ KPIs.
“It’s not enough to manage data and create insights,” said Ms.
Logan. “These activities must deliver measurable business outcomes.
“Data sharing is the way to optimize higher quality data and more
robust data and analytics to solve business challenges and goals,”
said Ms. Logan. “Data sharing is an important KPI and a business
necessity. It accelerates digital business transformation.”
David Friedland, the VP of Business
Development at IRI added, "Deb Logan's point about data
sharing leading to better analytic outcomes -- whether as part of
digital transformation (monetization) or traditional decision
support efforts -- tracks with the experience of IRI customers using
Voracity platform for
governance, or both. While the key
to superior insight lies in being able to rapidly process and
present wider varieties and higher volumes of
data, cleansing and masking that
data (as it's being wrangled, analyzed, and visualized) is just as
vital. Those promoting data sharing must thus ensure the quality and
security of that data for analytic processes to remain reliable and
Gartner predicts that by 2023, organizations that promote data
sharing will outperform their peers on most business value metrics.
Successful CDOs Translate Data Into Business Results
who have business-facing KPIs and multiple business partners are 1.7
times more likely to be effective at consistently producing clear
business value by successfully demonstrating ROI from the D&A
investments. They are also 2.3 times more likely to be effective at
reducing time to market and 3.5 times more likely to be effective at
Less successful CDOs are those who failed to show a link between D&A
and business value and who are inclined to focus on technology
instead of people.
In addition, 93% of CDOs reported that effective communication is
critical to the success of their roles. Overall, the most important
competencies for D&A leaders are influencing, engagement and
effective communication plans. These are leadership – not management
– skills. “If the CDO does not exert influence across the
organization by promoting data sharing, engaging stakeholders and
training the workforce to become data literate, they will likely not
perform well in their role,” said Ms. Logan.