The Chief Data Officer as Mr. Spock

Star Trek Board Room

If the CEO is Captain Kirk, the CFO officer Doctor McCoy, and the sales/marketing handled by Scotty—who is the Chief Data Officer? If Anthony Palella and Mario Faria are to be believed, the natural choice is Mr. Spock. Here’s why:

The CDO handles data, which is the backbone of almost every other operation in the organization. Much in the same way, Mr. Spock was the science officer, and science played an essential part of how the Enterprise functioned. Just as Kirk discussed plans with Spock, so too does the CEO find themselves asking the CDO for advice and information before making any critical moves—or at least should be.

Proving Worth

But the CDO is new to the executive suite, and as such still needs to prove they are worthwhile to bring into the circle of existing executive positions. The article explains a few ways the CDO can expand their influence while also gaining the trust of their peers. To begin with, the CDO should find a fellow C-level champion who you can help with the correct application of data. Next, focus on quick wins on a small scale, then build up to larger successes. Another tip is to think long term about data:

Put a long-term data and analytics strategy in place while making cumulative knowledge growth and business success a sustainable habit for each of your C-level peers. After all, the starship Enterprise was on a five-year mission. In that spirit, a data and analytics strategy should be planned with a long-term view and should proceed even as you continue to deliver quick wins, while building toward bigger goals.

The final two tips are to think outside of “the bridge” (that is, don’t just stay within your sphere but branch out to see where else you can help), and don’t just think of your own functional area’s success, but of the organization’s as a whole. After all, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

Read the full article here:

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