Chief Data Officer

What Does Chief Data Officer Mean?

A chief data officer (CDO) is a senior executive who is tasked with managing and improving the organization's ability to leverage data as a strategic asset.


The CDO is responsible for a number of areas encompassed by data governance, including:

  • Ensuring the organization meets compliance regulations.
  • Identifying and promoting best practices and resources for data life cycle management and ata quality management.
  • Fostering a community of learning.

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).

Techopedia Explains Chief Data Officer

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.

Today, the role of the CDO is to drive the realization in organizations that big data is a business asset that can be used to identify potential revenue opportunities. The chief data officer is also responsible for ensuring that the data obtained from various sources is protected and its confidentiality is honored.

In the United States, hosts an online repository that provides free information about the role of a CDO, including best practices for data governance and templates for data governance policies.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…