Chief Data Officer: Do You Need One?

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The role of Chief Data Officer is relatively new in the corporate world. In fact, nearly two-thirds of CDO positions have been created within just the past three years, according to research by Yang Lee, a professor at Northeastern University's D'Amore-McKim School of Business and co-director of MIT's Chief Data Officer Research Program; and Randy Bean, CEO and managing partner of management consultancy NewVantage Partners.

But what exactly does a CDO do, aside from collect a sizable paycheck? The role is evolving, says Richard Wang, one of the organizers of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Chief Data Officer and Information Quality (CDOIQ) Symposium, which takes place July 23 and 24 in Cambridge, Mass. The event, now in its eighth year, focuses on issues of data quality and the emerging role of the CDO within enterprises.

"If someone today tells you they know how to do the chief data officer's function, they're lying to you," said Wang, director of MIT's Chief Data Officer and Information Quality Program, in a phone interview with InformationWeek.

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