Experian, the global information services group, today published the findings of its “Dawn of the Chief Data Officer (CDO)” survey, confirming that an increasing number of organisations are waking up to the strategic value of data.

The study, which interviewed over 250 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) from large organisations, found that 90% of respondents feel that data is transforming the way they do business, with some 92% suggesting that a Chief Data Officer (CDO) is best placed to define data strategy and be the guardian of data quality within an organisation.

61% wanted to see a CDO hired within the next 12 months and 47% cited the sheer volume of data as a key barrier to success, preventing them from using these data assets further, to improve their interactions with audiences.

Respondents also outlined the growing need for closer collaboration between Marketing and IT teams within the business. This is likely to also change the make-up of senior leadership teams in the future, with the CDO tipped to become a senior board level role by 2020.

The study suggests that 2015 is set to be the year where this new 'data force' takes the lead in overseeing the use of data within organisations. Alongside the Chief Information Officer (CIO) as the point-person for guiding the use of data within the business, the relatively new, senior role of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) will be expected to navigate an increasingly complex landscape, to deliver the best results for both brands and customers.

Boris Huard, Managing Director of Experian Data Quality said:

“The 'data force' will have a key role at the heart of businesses. We can add Chief Digital Officer, alongside CDOs and Director of Insights, as emerging new roles which have come about in response to the pressure and opportunity presented by big data.

“What is particularly encouraging is that companies are increasingly switching on to the value of data. They are realising that more emphasis needs to be placed on data management and strategy to ensure that they are able to satisfy burgeoning customer expectations, both now and in the future.

“This new breed of data professionals will have wide-ranging impact on the way that brands interact with customers. Regardless of what industry you are operating in, your marketers are only ever as good as the data that underpins their plans, ensuring data quality is one important element of getting your interactions with the consumer right.”

“Dawn of the CDO study”: Key findings