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  • Writer's pictureBeyond Team

Our Thoughts on the Threatened Extinction of Chief Data Officers

Updated: Jun 25

What do CDOs and dodos have in common?

(Absolutely nothing)

It seems Gartner is at it again. Not content with their somewhat alarmist take on AI ubiquity a few weeks ago, it seems now they have it in for chief data officers and analysts. 

According to their latest report, these poor souls have just 24 months to get their act together or go the way of the dodo.

The problem with this latest attention-grabbing headline is that it glosses over the foundational realities that many organisations face.

Building and managing an effective data and analytics framework isn't about jumping on the latest tech bandwagon. 

It involves establishing robust data management practices, fostering data literacy, and ensuring that every technological advance, such as AI, is grounded in real, measurable business outcomes.

According to Gartner's survey, a significant overhaul in data and analytics architecture is on the horizon, with 38% of CDAOs preparing for major changes within the next 12-18 months.

This reflects a necessary shift as businesses strive to adapt to the rapidly advancing tech landscape. However, it’s crucial to approach this with a balanced perspective.

While 74% of CDAOs manage their organisation’s D&A strategy, a worrying 34% have yet to establish metrics that track the business outcomes of their initiatives. 

This disconnect between strategy and measurable impact is where the real focus should be, rather than on looming existential threats to their roles.

The essence of Gartner's warning isn't misplaced—adaptation and influence within businesses are crucial.

But it should be about pragmatic progress: building on solid data foundations, understanding the specific needs and capabilities of the organisation, and moving forward with a clear, outcome-focused vision.

In reality, companies that neglect to leverage their data effectively will certainly struggle, but not because of the reasons Gartner emphasises. 

The speed of technological change is undeniably fast, but successful adaptation is less about keeping up with each emerging technology and more about integrating new tools sensibly and strategically into the business.

As we've seen in past tech cycles, from the dot-com boom to the mobile internet surge, the real winners are those who find practical applications for new technologies that align with their core business objectives.

So, while Gartner's reports might push us to think about the future, let's not get carried away by the hyperbolic undertones.

Instead, let's focus on what truly matters—building a resilient, data-savvy organisation that can thrive amidst the tech transformations of any era.



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