Caroline Carruthers and Peter Jackson, authors of The chief data officer’s Playbook,they have overhauled their CDO summer school to match the increased importance of the chief data officer (CDO) role.
Carruthers told“The data leadership role has evolved into a more strategic space. We define it as first and second-generation. The first focused on the more risk-averse side of the role, the second more on the value add.”
Jackson added: “CDOs are expected to do both, but also the role has evolved into a more strategic role, not only for data but for the business. They are getting closer to the COO [chief operating officer] and the CEO.”
The CIO and CDO roles should, they said, be symbiotic. The CIO looks after the bucket, the CDO the water in Carruthers’ oft-expressed analogy. “They both win by working together. Compared to the CIO, CDOs struggled to be taken seriously a few years ago. That has changed,” she said.
Jackson added: “That’s because CEOs and boards recognize that theto the CIO, new skills that they need.”
Speaking to Computer Weekly,, Jackson stressed the importance of the community-building element of the course. “At present, there are [only] a few hundred data leaders, at that level, in UK organizations. And there is no well-trodden career path,” he said.
“Our summer of data leaders with the skills and network they need to help make data a transformative resource within their organization.”
The summer school course, which runs over 12 weeks, has been rebuilt from the ground up to reflect this relativein emphasis. The pair have added , known as the “data whisperer”, to promulgate data storytelling and , an executive coach, to lecture on “authentic leadership”.
Participation in the summer school is by invitation only, with applications opening on 8 April via the. The course runs from 17 June to 2 September, sessions, each for 90 minutes.
and Jackson have led data at Network Rail, , and The Pensions Regulator.
They say the course is open to data leaders this year, regardless of job title. The first cohort in 2018 was around 200 students. This year, they want tonumbers to about 450, as in 2020.
In a statement, Carruthers said: “Data has been the foundation of so many innovations during the, and it’s vital that it continues to underpin business strategies as we come out of lockdown.
“Organisations need confident data leaders to help them through their data journeys. Our summer school will equip the next generation of data leaders with the skills and network they need to help make data a transformative resource within their organization.”
“The CDO role has evolved into a more strategic role for data and the business. They are getting closer to the COO and the CEO.”
The statement featured testimony from two previous alumnae: Ela Wardowski, vice-president ofat Comerica Bank, and Shreya Goswami, the director of data and artificial intelligence for Microsoft (the Middle East and Africa).
Wardowski said: “As a data governance professional, I found the summer school enlightening. The course also supported my conversations with management – adding structure and meaningfulgovernance at my organization.
Goswami said: “I found the summer. The network of CDOs offered is beneficial, and a tremendous opportunity is created for co-creation and best practice sharing. This course has enabled me to lead the data office with much efficacy and confidence and made a massive difference in the lives of my colleagues and leadership.