One obvious measure of a Chief Data Officer should be their ability to derive insights and therefore value from an organisation's data sources. The measure of a great Chief Data Officer is when they can, like Henry Ford or Steve Jobs, deliver products or outcomes that no-one realised they needed, but soon become completely addicted to!
Having led the search to find ITV Plc's Group Chief Data and AI Officer, which resulted in the appointment of Sanjeevan Bala, it is evident that the demands of Chief Data Officers have expanded significantly since Cathryne Clay Doss was appointed as the world's first known Chief Data Officer (by Capital One in 2002) with a remit to lead the strategic oversight of both IT and supply chain and market analysis.
In this search it was evident that Chief Data Officers are now building world class data capability from disperate and dispersed data sources, managing and ensuring the quality of the data (including handling privacy and cybersecurity issues), contributing to data-driven strategy creation and decision making, anticipating the organisation's future insight needs, utilising AI and ML capability effectively and ultimately achieving the overarching goal of leveraging the organisation's most valuable asset (data) to drive insight and maximise value creation.
In addition to that strategic and operational capability Chief Data Officers now need to be personally aligned with the organisation's aims and business domain, have exceptional interpersonal skills, be a change agent, have strong communication skills and on top of all that have the intellectual curiosity to keep abreast of every technological development that might impact or enhance their purview.
Get all of that in one person and your Chief Data Officer can be an exceptionally positive change agent with a pivotal role in transforming the business.
Congratulations Sanjeevan - and ITV!!
Blending human creativity with machine intelligence will allow ITV to navigate a clear path through the fourth industrial revolution