With the data being touted as the new oil, it is more important than ever for the chief data officers inside companies to create a data management strategy that is offensive instead of defense. What that means is that the data should be used to drive marketing and sales, which are the lifeblood of every business. Instead of focusing on defensive things like regulations, compliance, and management, companies can leverage data to improve profits and cut costs.
The role of the Chief Data Officer is now to facilitate the transition from defense to offense inside their organization. However, many people don’t understand this new reality, and they continue to languish behind organizations that just get it. Data driven decisions are the answer to the majority of their business problems, but brave CDOs would have to take the risk to make that transition.
How the CDO’s Role Has Changed
The CDO can be thought of as the overarching authority that executes the data strategy for an organization. They are usually responsible for everything that goes into a data driven organization. That has traditionally meant going through the process of managing, warehousing, and ensuring that the data is clean and reliable. They also focus on infrastructure, but this was a lot more difficult back then because the cloud did not exist. Each individual organization had to have its own data warehousing infrastructure and toolkits.
The ability to perform complex calculations in place did not exist, and you could not have data driven decision making. The way that organizations used data was purely as a commodity that could be a secondary facilitator of growth inside the organization. It wasn’t the main thing, and it is why the changes being made today are so sorely needed.
As the chart shows, things will need to change dramatically, as data becomes a more central part of how organizations can make decisions.
The Traditional Defensive Strategy
Data has gotten more important because of the cloud and the ability for almost anyone to get access to almost unlimited computational power. When that is coupled with the massive amounts of data available today, it makes for an amazing strategy in determining how companies can shape their future by harnessing the power that data provides. It makes it a lot easier for companies to create a data management strategy that is both robust and forward-facing.
However, the traditional model focused exclusively on the bad side of data. Instead of seeing data as a crucial resource, they saw it as a resource that needed to be guarded and cared for. You can think of it as data being gold in a vault that requires a lot of security to protect. This defensive strategy was not conducive to success, which is why that strategy is changing so dramatically. The CDO no longer has to focus only on infrastructure, regulation, and compliance. They no longer have to focus on data management and how it is warehoused.
What It Means to Go On the Offense
The modern Chief Data Officer sees data as a valuable resource that can be used to improve businesses relatively quickly. The focus is now on using data to make better decisions that translate into a better and bigger bottom line. It means using machine learning and AI solutions to drive growth and innovation inside an organization.
While managing data is less important in this new paradigm, it is still a critical component. Offensive strategies focus more on taking advantage of real-time opportunities that pop up. It means being flexible and using data as a critical weapon in your arsenal to generate massive amounts of income.