The CDO role is fulfilling promise that CIOs and CTOs have often aspired to,” said Dave Mathison, organizer of the upcoming CDO Summit in NYC on 4/22-23. “While CIOs and CTOs often struggle to fit the idea of business leadership into their roles, the entire mission of a CDO is leadership. In my view, the next generation of CEOs will come from the CDO role.
“There is an important consequence of this increasing focus on customer data and customer experience, says David Mathison, a New York-based executive search specialist and founder of the CDO Club, a networking organisation for chief digital officers and others in related roles.
An understanding of data analysis techniques and approaches is now a must-have skill for anyone with ambitions to lead their company’s digital transformation strategy, he says.
“There are plenty of data out there and not enough insight – and that’s broadly true across companies, non-profit organisations and government agencies,” says Mr Mathison.
That is not to say that those in charge of starting new digital channels need to be highly technical, “big data” specialists, he stresses: they typically have an insights and analytics team to provide that expertise.
But they must have a very firm grasp of what their data are telling them, “because, after all, that’s where competitive advantage really lies”.
January 7, 2014: “Essentially, the CDO skillset is entrepreneurial. It’s not really about technology tools or marketing savvy, but about being able to run a bridal dress business, grow revenues and cut costs. It’s about demonstrable experience of successfully handling profit/loss responsibility,” Mathison explains.
“CDO to CEO is starting to look like a much faster career track than CIO to CEO. Why wouldn’t a smart technology leader want to get involved?”
“The number of CDOs has been doubling every year since MTV hired Jason Hirschhorn as the first digital CDO in 2005, said David Mathison, founder of The CDO Club, whose recently released CDO Talent Map examines the history of the CDO role and the makeup of current and former digital chiefs. Mathison predicts the number of CDOs will increase from 488 in 2013 to 1,000 or more this year.”