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December 2014/January 2015, Vol. 38

Chief data officer's success hinges on CIO sponsorship

A key factor in carving out the chief data officer role in the enterprise is IT sponsorship. That is the view of three chief data officers who attended this week's IBM Chief Data Officer Strategy Summit in Boston. The revelation comes as a bit of a surprise, considering the chief data officer (CDO) is tasked with building an enterprise data strategy that often includes oversight of classical IT functions such as data governance and data quality. Indeed, the role of the CDO has been characterized by some IT experts as encroaching on the CIO's domain. But, CDOs at KeyBank, Nationwide Insurance and Seattle Children's Hospital said their CIOs were instrumental in getting the role off the ground. At Nationwide, the position was developed for strategic reasons, specifically to help the business operations become more data-driven, said Wes Hunt. Prior to taking on the CDO role at the mutual insurance company in Columbus, Ohio almost a year ago, Hunt led the analytics program out of the marketing department for 11 years. "The CIO ...

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