CDO 2024

Navigating the Data Landscape: Five Challenges Facing Chief Data Officers in 2024

In Uncategorized by Info Hunton Lewis

In today’s data-driven world, the Chief Data Officer (CDO) role is becoming increasingly crucial. Data is at the heart of decision-making, insights and processes of every well-run business in 2023. With each passing year, the CDO role takes on greater responsibilities and oversight.

Initially, the role of a Chief Data Officer was to uphold data government policies relating to issues like compliance and privacy. Now, with additional authority in overseeing data strategy, CDOs are expected to use data effectively to drive business value.

So, what does this ever-evolving role have in store for 2024?


Managing data of growing volume and complexity

Data can be extracted from a variety of sources, including customers, employees, transactions and other business operations. The volume of data collected by organisations is growing exponentially, and in complexity. In a 2023 survey carried out by KPMG, 70 per cent of business leaders claimed that their company increased their volume of data collection in the past year.

The insights provided by customer data collection are tangible. A McKinsey report suggests that companies actively collecting customer data and practicing customer analytics are 23 times more likely to outperform their competitors. It’s expected that companies will step up their data collection efforts in 2024.


Ensuring data quality and governance

One of the core features of the Chief Data Officer role, ensuring data quality to make sure that organisations are making decisions based on accurate, reliable data. To achieve this, CDOs must implement robust data governance processes and policies so that data is collected, stored and applied in a compliant and ethical manner.

Measures taken to ensure data quality might include regular data audits to systematically check adherence to data quality standards, documenting workflows, training staff, data cleansing, validation checks against specific metrics and establishing frameworks for accountability.


Integrating data silos

Many companies suffer under the weight of data silos. These are isolated repositories of data, not easily accessible to other parts of the organisation. This can lead to important data being essentially lost or inaccessible to relevant areas of the company, causing slowdowns and difficulties in collaboration.

It’s essential for Chief Data Officers to break down these silos and integrate data across the organisation to gain a holistic view of the business. In 2024, with the easy availability of tech such as consolidated data management platforms, it’s easier than ever to find solutions. Gartner estimates that poor data quality costs organizations an average of $12.9 million per year – a loss that is potentially avoidable for yours.


Developing a data-driven culture

In order to truly leverage the power of data, organisations must develop a data-driven culture in line with their business operations. All employees should be aware of the value of data, and how to use it in informing their decision-making. Greater data awareness can also help to improve your company’s data security.

Making data and analytics part of your business functions, carefully choosing metrics that accurately reflect your goals, offering specialised analytical training to staff, and, as previously mentioned, breaking down data silos can all help to foster a data-driven culture in your company. More than 80 per cent of companies responding to a data intelligence study led by Collibra claimed that they had a dedicated team responsible for data culture and building data literacy.


Balancing innovation and security

Companies are constantly looking for new ways to innovate by using data. However, it’s essential that they are always mindful of security and privacy risks. Chief Data Officers need to strike a balance between innovation and security to ensure that their organisations are handling data responsibly.

CDOs must contend with:

  • The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)
    Increasingly important for data collection and analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning can be transformative for a company but CDOs face the challenge of understanding these technologies and how they can be applied to extract insights and improve efficiency.
  • The changing regulatory landscape
    Chief Data Officers must stay up-to-date on the latest regulations and policies to navigate the regulatory landscape around data. Ensuring organisations are compliant in an often evolving landscape is complex.
  • The skills gap
    With the world of data evolving so quickly, there is a growing shortage of adequately skilled data professionals. Chief Data Officers need to develop strategies to attract and retain top talent, which may involve upskilling and reskilling current employees.


What lies ahead

In 2024, Chief Data Offers will have to take a step back and navigate a variety of challenges. Against a complex backdrop of regulation and swift developments in data collection, management and culture, with new innovations on the horizon, the ideal CDO must be adaptable and have the foresight to take the lead.

The role of the CDO is more important than ever before in addressing these challenges. CDOs who can do so successfully will be well-positioned to help their organisations achieve their strategic goals.