Passionned Group™

Chief Data Officer

The Chief Data Officer (CDO) is responsible for transforming organizations to make them work in a data-driven way. Aside from being data-focused managers, they’re also data evangelists who use the numbers to inspire organizations to work in a data-driven way.

The Chief Data Officer makes organizations data-driven

The CDO is in high demand

This function is being created in droves, especially in large, data-driven organizations like banks and government institutions. This new role demands new competencies and a totally different perspective on business. The demand is high, but unfortunately the supply is low. Finding and recruiting the right (interim) CDO is a challenge.

The role of the Chief Data Officer

What should you pay attention to when hiring or staffing a Chief Data Officer position? The most important factors are:

  • The CDO requires a different skill set than what people currently have. Which skills do they need?
  • What’s the role of the CDO in an organization, and which responsibilities come with it?
  • What should you do if you want to find a Chief Data Officer, or if you want to become a CDO?
  • What does a Passionned Group interim CDO bring to the table?
  • How do you embed data-driven working, and how do you demonstrate it successfully?

We’ll go in-depth into these points below.

Which skills should a (future) CDO possess?

The relatively new function of Chief Data Officer demands a different, data-focused, perspective on the organization. The CDO works using all available internal and external data. It’s their job to make sure that the organization makes the correct decisions based on this data, and that the data is complete and correct.

The bucks stops at the Chief Data Officer

The CDO is the manager who harmonizes and structures data streams and simplifies and ensures the quality of data intake. This manager is also responsible for what happens to data in an organization. Given all the developments around data responsibility and privacy, this part is becoming increasingly important.

The figurehead for data-driven working

The CDO should also be the figurehead for data-driven working in an organization. They have to be able to promote this philosophy and get the rest of the organization on board. That requires a fundamental change in the organization.

Artificial Intelligence is on the CDO’s doorstep

The Chief Data Officer has to be aware of all the developments in their field. Technology is rapidly developing, and they have to consider what to invest in. New solutions and languages crop up at a rapid rate, and Big Data has hardly been introduced in an organization and a development like Artificial Intelligence is already waiting in the wings.

All in all, the CDO has a broad competency profile. They also have to be able to convince the organization of their solutions, and follow all the relevant technological developments.

The intelligent organization and the Chief Data Officer

Passionned Group is the “inventor” of the intelligent organization; a way to structure organizations around data collection, data processing, and data distribution. In other words, organizations work based on data. Our Business Intelligence book is the ultimate management handbook.

Do you want to hire a Chief Data Officer?

Chief Data Officers can technically be hired anywhere, but Passionned Group specializes in data-driven working and has a great track record in the field. Our people can implement this difficult change like no others, while working together with you.

We only work with highly experienced managers who have experienced this change in practice. Our extensive network enables us to introduce the right candidates quickly.

After making a choice, the chosen candidate can usually get started in your organization quickly. If you want to know more, feel free to contact us.

Data-related roles

✓ CRM manager
BI manager
Data Architect
Chief Information Officer

The practical skills of successful CDOs

A CDO needs to have a wide array of skills. They need to have strong managerial skills, be able to work together, and have a strong technical (ICT) foundation to be able to implement the complex changes. What are the most important factors?

They especially have to be able to stay on top of every development, based on (Big) Data, and translate that into concrete actions within the organization.

Is the CDO replacing the CIO and the Chief Digital Officer?

The Chief Data Officer is a new function, but the question is: isn’t it old news? Aren’t they replacing the CIO and the Chief Digital Officer? Our answer is no, they should be able to co-exist.

  • The Chief Information Officer is more focused on providing the information and ICT infrastructure to the organization. Delivering services like a data warehouse environment, Big Data solutions, and unlocking source systems are some of their responsibilities.
  • The Chief Digital Officer is more focused on the outside of the organization, that is to say, the customer side. Their attention is on matters like: which channels are being used, which apps should be developed, and which innovative new digital products have to be put on the market?

The Chief Data Officer is the one who bears the final responsibility for data assets within an organization as far as contents, reliability, and privacy concerns go.

The roles complement each other and clearly have different focus. We do sometimes see that the roles are combined, depending on the organizational data needs and scope.

The Chief Data Officer shouldn’t just know about all the (data) trends, but also have an answer to them. The (data) trends are affected by the digital revolution and all kinds of technological developments. The most important trends we’re seeing are:

Organizations have to deal with a lot more trends, but these are the most important ones in data. That’s why it’s essential for every CDO to have a clear data strategy, in which they formulate an answer to these trends.

Opening for Chief Data Officer

Passionned Group is regularly looking for experienced CDOs to help service its clients. If you’re such a candidate, and you have experience with data-driven transformations, we’d love to meet you. Leave us your contact information here and we’ll contact you as soon as possible.

Do you have any questions?

Has this article raised any questions? Or do you want to talk to us about this subject? Feel free to contact us. We’re happy to discuss this with you.

About Passionned Group

Logo Passionned Group, the expert in Chief Data OfficerPassionned Group is a leading firm in designing and implementing Business Analytics. Our senior Data Scientists and consultants assist both large and small companies towards a smarter enterprise. Every two years we organize the election of the smartest company.

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Our Chief Data Officers

Dick Pouw - Interim Chief Data Officer


Interim Chief Data Officer

Daan van Beek - CDO & CEO Passionned Group


CDO & CEO Passionned Group