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The chief analytics officer (CAO) is an executive within a company or business who is in charge of data strategy, with a specific focus on data analytics. The chief analytics officer may lead a data analytics strategy or determine how analysis gets done, with regard to the tools and resources used, any outsourcing, and any other aspects of the actual data analytics that gets done on valuable business data sets.
Where a corporation has a chief data officer or similar role, the chief analytics officer may be more confined to the analytics space rather than delving into data governance, data refinement processes and other technical aspects of data management. However, many companies use a chief analytics officer to manage both the general data management and the data analytics processes. In fact, many companies do without a chief analytics officer altogether, using a CIO or related role instead. In fact, the debate over a need for a chief analytics officer is an important aspect of planning for data management for an enterprise.
Part of the value proposition for a chief analytics officer is related to a general lack of data science skills in companies and markets, along with the idea of promoting an "equilibrium" for the use of business data in terms of both supply and demand. The chief analytics officer can play many key roles in optimizing how data gets used, which, in the age of robust CRM, machine learning and AI business processes, marketing engines, and other data-intensive processes, is an important job.