Why CDOs will gain increasing relevance in FIs in future

Nurdianah Md Nur

iii. Data monetisation
Data monetisation is an extension of data leverage that focuses on finding new avenues of earnings and revenue opportunities outside existing processes and functions - very often with direct impact on existing business models and organisational strategy.

For example, a bank may be looking to monetise its credit card data to open new revenue streams by selling insights to its ecosystem partners, within the customer-approved privacy framework. A telecommunications company might augment its location data with other customer demographics to offer moreconvenient mobile banking.

Successful CDOs focus on doing the right things -- including integrating and collecting the right data -- to leverage and monetise this strategic asset.

iv. Data protection
Data protection is a special aspect of data upkeep. Protecting data as an asset is of paramount importance, given the high risks associated with failure. Typically, this protection is exercised through collaboration with another executive role responsible for information security, also known as the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).

v. Data upkeep
Data upkeep refers to managing the health of the data under governance. With the growing data explosion and data mashing over websites, companies and consumers, there is a clear need for new and different methods that address data quality and governance as a positive differentiator for custom­ers and citizens. The CDO is ultimately accountable for multiple aspects of data maintenance like data integrity, veracity, value, semantics and overall health.

How does the CDO role complement other C-suite roles? Who should the CDO report to?
Lines of businesses are under increasing pressure to not only capitalise on data but also monetise it. In order to deliver on this need, the C-suite leaders need data that is ready, reliable and relevant, something that a CDO ensures and delivers. CDOs are thus an integral part of the other C-suite roles in helping them scale up their expertise. 

According to IBM's research, there isn't a single best practice for the fit of a CDO within an organisation. However, three prevalent models did emerge that link the CDO to the CEO, the CIO or another CxO. Each alignment approach offers different benefits and allows a company to act according to its own priorities.

i. Direct report to CEO
Direct reporting to the CEO helps to elevate data ownership to the CEO's agenda and creates a stronger mandate for a data-driven transformation. This alignment drives an organisation toward business enablement and innovation.

The downside to this is that it can create a power conflict between the CIO and the CDO unless roles are clearly defined and collaboration is emphasised. This model is typically used within financial service organisations.

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