More organisations are increasing budgets for Chief Data Officers (CDOs) in a bid to manage their data assets more efficiently and become more competitive, according to research from Deloitte.
Deloitte’s latest Chief Data Officer survey 2023, an annual report about the roles and responsibilities of CDOs across a number of sectors and industries, found that 37% of CDOs have seen an increase to their budgets in the past 12 months, in contrast to 23% of CDOs who saw budgets decrease. This upward trend is expected to continue over the next 12 months, with CDO budgets increasing towards the desired 17%, relative to the size of their organisation’s overall IT budget. Current spending controlled by CDOs is at 12%.
Tony King, data, privacy and analytics partner at Deloitte says: “The role and influence of the Chief Data Officer to an organisation’s overall strategy has never been more important. However, funding is a crucial enabler for Chief Data Officers to drive value from data. Those CDOs that have appropriate budgets at their disposable can invest in the right technologies and resources to better manage data assets and be more insight-driven.”
Importance of CDOs is gaining traction at board level
The proportion of CDOs sitting on the executive committee or board of their organisation has increased from 9% in 2022 to 17% in 2023. This is expected to increase further over the next 12 months.
The size of data teams has also grown in the last year, with 33% of CDOs described leading a data team of more than 100 staff, compared to only 18% in the previous study. The report also found CDOs are expanding their teams and working across a wider remit – with 39% of CDOs agreeing that recruiting more staff into their data function is a key priority for them this year.
King added: “Those organisations who have appointed a Chief Data Officer and recognise their value will be more competitive in the long run. While an organisation’s success is not the sole responsibility of the Chief Data Officer, they play a key role to business success. For example, through enabling the use of data to drive predictive analysis to help their organisation make better decisions about future investments, or ensuring data is trusted so that it can support the use of artificial intelligence.”
Influence across the organisation still remains an issue
While there appears to be a growing importance into the role and function of CDOs, their influence with some senior colleagues is still lacking.
Only 38% of CDOs believed their chief executive had a good understanding of their role and only 7% of CDOs said they reported directly into their CEO. CDOs have also outlined that they have weaker relationships with business focused C-suite colleagues, including CEOs, COOs and CFOs.
Andy Whitton, data, privacy and analytics partner at Deloitte, said: “Increasing awareness and understanding across chief executive and other C-suite roles should be seen as a key enabler to improving business performance.
“Chief Data Officers have a great opportunity to educate other business stakeholders of the opportunity that data brings, through identifying specific problems relevant to each stakeholder, and how data can be used to resolve them.
“This can also help them secure buy-in and funding on transformation projects that help to implement large-scale change to benefit the use of data. It also helps to ensure that the chief data officer is working to support the overall business objectives and strategy, creating a more unified approach.”