Chief Data Officers: Six Steps to Manage Data as an Enterprise Asset
With an exponential increase in the types and quantities of data, organizations need defined strategies and techniques to manage data as an enterprise asset. To create enterprise-wide use of data, a Chief Data Officer (CDO) needs a clear data agenda for leadership and the whole organization to address current and future needs. CDOs should follow this six-part data plan to achieve short term capability gains and plot a path to greater enterprise data maturity.
1. Understand the Mission – The use of data in an organization must align to the mission and strategy. Enterprises should use data to measure progress, understand customers, make decisions, and provide more value to stakeholders, whatever the mission. The CDO needs to start here and understand the mission drivers in depth to identify how data can be an enterprise asset
2. Develop Three-year Strategy – As the leader and advocate of using data, CDOs should be forward thinking, looking at data platforms, tools, and data assets that are applicable for the organization, today and into the future. A three-year timeframe is far enough ahead to allow for implementation, but not so far as to be unrealistic. Steadily building capabilities towards that vision will help the organization develop a mission advantage using data
3. Develop an Inventory – Promoting the use of data with enterprise leaders requires CDO to have a complete, accurate, and realistic understanding of the current data assets. This includes what systems you have, data sets you own and store, the data quality and completeness, and ad hoc data stores like facility systems, email stores, and spreadsheets. Develop a metrics-driven inventory that grades each data asset in these terms
4. Bring Data INTO the Organization – A savvy CDO is looking outside the organization for data that augments internal holdings. Develop methods for finding and evaluating external data sets and feeds. Define integration points for bringing this data in for integration with home grown data. This could include customer demographics, competitor information, and other reference data sets. This can add value to mission operators and senior leaders, accelerating their ability to achieve mission success
5. Start Conversations about Data – A CDO has the responsibility to raise data intelligence and awareness levels across the organization. Engaging in mission driven discussions using Design+Data principles helps identify new data opportunities to serve customers and improve internal operations. Design + Data uses design concepts such as user empathy and experimentation, to make data usable for business leaders and decisions makers.
6. Develop Enterprise Data Skills and Thinking – Thinking about data at the strategic level and the operational level is a skillset that the CDO must develop, mature, and foster across the organization. Each functional leader in an organization needs to understand what data is on hand and how they can use data to fulfill this mission. Until the organization sees the value in its data, the data can’t truly accelerate results
The CDO uses these six threads to document, build, and use data skills and assets and to align data capabilities with the enterprise mission and vision. With a mission-focused approach, the whole organization can benefit from the data assets to serve their customers comprehensively.
About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. Focused on innovation, Arc Aspicio provides services in strategy, design, human capital, operations, analytics and visualization, technology, and information sharing. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude, provides leadership opportunities, and explores the future. Our teams use a human-centered approach to working with clients and are flexible and responsive within dynamic Government client environments that often have new priorities and evolving missions. We thrive on these situations and promote continuous improvement and new ideas. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.