Skip to main content

Chief Data Officer survey 2023

The importance and scope of the CDO is increasing - how can you drive success in your role?

2023 Chief Data Officer survey

Download the report

Take part in the next Chief Data Officer survey

Get in touch

The role of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) is firmly on the agenda for most, perhaps all, organisations. Some may already have appointed a CDO, could be considering doing so, or may not have explored this option yet. Even so, the importance of the role continues to increase.

Over the last few years, there’s been rapid growth of new artificial intelligence, analytics, and data use cases across all industries globally. Digital transformation has accelerated, and the most truly data-enabled organisations continue to set new standards of performance. The future of data is all the more exciting and presents great opportunities, however, fresh risks come with this change, and are stretching traditional governance approaches. Nevertheless, there’s a need to understand how CDOs should contribute – by taking the lead, catalysing, or supporting across data initiatives.

Although an organisations’ success is not the sole responsibility of the Chief Data Officer, the CDO plays a key role, which is ever-increasing in scope and importance.

What drives success for a Chief Data Officer?


We believe that a CDO’s success at delivering a positive impact on business performance is driven by three key factors:


A CDO’s clarity of purpose, illustrated by a clear vision and goals (i.e., a ‘data strategy’). Successful CDOs have a defined strategy that is aligned to the business and communicated with their wider organisation. Having a clear vision helps CDOs to achieve this successfully.


A CDO’s ability to control their domain (i.e., the data function, but also the use of data within the wider organisation). Successful CDOs strengthen their control through building bigger teams, or establishing better engagement through federated models, to cover a broader scope of data capabilities.


A CDO’s ability to influence and enable others to set data firmly on the agenda, especially for wider teams and functions. Successful CDOs have influence over all other aspects of the organisation that impact on their purpose, ranging from C-suite to more junior employees.

Insights from our Chief Data Officer survey

61% of CDOs said creating, updating or implementing a data strategy was one of their top three priorities for the next 12 months

17% of CDOs sit on their Executive Committee or the Board, compared to 9% last year

77% of CDOs had an increase, or no change, in their budget last year

33% of CDOs lead a data team with over 100 resources, compared to 18% last year

The role of a Chief Data Officer


Key questions that the 2023 survey focuses on are:


  • what does a successful CDO look like?
  • what is a CDO responsible for, what is their role?
  • where do CDOs spend their time and budget?
  • what are their key priorities and challenges?
  • how diverse is the role, and how diverse are their teams?

Did you find this useful?

Thanks for your feedback

If you would like to help improve further, please complete a 3-minute survey