The case for the Chief Data Analytics Officer

Pedro URIA RECIO

Chief Analytics & AI Officer at True Digital
Thailand

Pedro is Chief Analytics & AI Officer at True Digital, Thailand's largest technology company. Pedro leads Data & AI innovation in corporations and start-ups in Southeast Asia, across telecoms, financial services, and retail. General Manager of a data monetization venture that commercializes advertising, credit scoring, and mobility solutions. Entrepreneurial hustle in bootstrapping new markets and products and solving business problems. Managed hands-on digital and data transformations in two regional conglomerates. Gifted in creating and coaching teams of marketing specialists, digital professionals, and data experts across multiple geographies. Creative, resourceful, and versatile former McKinsey consultant. Business Angel, Chicago Booth MBA, and certified AI professional.

The case for the Chief Data Analytics Officer

The left human brain is more verbal, analytical, and orderly than the right brain. The right brain is more visual and intuitive and has a more creative and less structured way of thinking. A business needs both. When it comes to leveraging data analytics, it certainly needs a lot of both.

The left brain is similar to the role of the Chief Data Analytics Officer (CDAO) and the right brain is typically, but not always, like the role of business line leaders, who know their business inside-out after decades of experience and thousands of conversations with clients.

A Chief Data Analytics Officer (CDAO) is responsible for the utilization of information as an asset, via data acquisition, processing, analysis, and, most importantly, implementation of use-cases that create value for the business. However, the CDAO will not be able to deliver this economic value alone, unless he or she can collaborate appropriately with business line leaders. Business line leaders have the intuition required to identify what business challenges can be addressed with data, either internal or external data, as well as the horsepower to make the necessary changes in business processes to implement data-driven decisions.

While the role has emerged as a de facto industry standard and has gained broad acceptance, there appears to be a profound lack of consensus on the role:

This lack of consensus even within the same company highlights the challenges that CDAOs face within companies. The CDAO may be one of the toughest jobs in the C-suite within many organizations. The position has become a hot seat with high turnover in several firms. As a result, it is paramount for a CDO to clarify his mandate in the early days to clarify his role.

However, whatever the mandate is in your organization is, keeping a strong collaboration and communication between the left-brain CDAO and the right-brain business lines is of paramount importance to guarantee the success of your data transformation.