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2022 Prediction #3: Massive Value is Unlocked and the Chief Data Officer Gets an Upgrade

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We’re continuing our series of predictions for the 2022 data governance landscape from ALTR leaders Dave Sikora, James Beecham, Doug Wick, and Pete Martin.  

In our last post, we talked about how the democratization of data access will lead to an order of magnitude increase in the credentialed access threat. But a positive effect of the growing democratization of data is the opportunity for companies to truly become “data-driven,” unlocking enormous economic value over the next five to 10 years. Currently, companies don’t really have a good handle of what’s truly going on inside their business – broadly across the various functions or in detail down to the transaction level. They don’t have the visibility or measurement around operations or their customers. But by making the data available to everybody, companies will get more operationally efficient across the board: marketing will get more effective at reaching potential customers, logistics will get more proficient at moving supplies and products through the business, and so on.  

At the same time data is spreading across the business, its importance is pushing the prominence of data up the executive ladder. This will lead to the elevation of the Chief Data Officer. Their responsibility will be to use all this data to make sense of the business – to correlate data points and create a high-level understanding of how the company is operating from a data flow perspective. We’re already seeing this happening to a certain extent with the percentage of organizations reporting the appointment of a CDO increasing from 12% in 2012 to 65% in 2021. This will have the side effect of pushing the CIO and the Information Technology teams lower in ranking, potentially reporting to the CDO, simply focused on putting the technology structure in place to enable a data-driven strategy.  

Venture Beat calls the combination of data and AI embedded within companies for analytical and operational purposes “the beginning of the era of the intelligent, automated enterprise.”  

Obviously, we’re just at the very early stages of this massive upheaval, but even what we’ve seen so far will help support what Gartner notes are CEO priorities for 2022: growth, digitalization and efficiency. These are all enabled if you can make better sense of your data. With disparate applications and disparate data points, the only way to take the business to the next level is to connect all those dots to create a holistic picture and uncover real insight.  

Watch our blog for more predictions to come around new risks to data, the crucial role of data in the business, and the regulatory environment ahead…

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