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A chief data officer (CDO) is a senior executive role in an organization that is responsible for data governance throughout the organization. Although related, the roles of the CDO and the chief information officer are different. The CDO typically reports to the chief technology officer (CTO), chief operating officer (COO) or the chief executive officer (CEO).
The CDO is responsible for a number of areas encompassed by data governance such as:
The role of the chief data officer has changed since it was created in 2007 in response to compliance regulations that were enacted after the recession in 2007–08. At that time, the CDO was mainly responsible for ensuring that the enterprise data fulfilled compliance requirements. Now, the role of the CDO is to drive the realization in organizations that big data is a business asset which can be used to identify potential revenue opportunities. The chief data officer is also responsible for ensuring that the data obtained from various sources are protected and their confidentiality is honored. In the past, companies have had to deal with many lawsuits because of their inability to protect the secrecy of the data they were sourcing.