According to a recent NewVantage Partners survey, 73 percent of Fortune 1000 companies have a chief data officer or a chief data analytics officer. That’s an uptick from the 65 percent in the 2021 survey and a massive increase from the 12 percent in 2012. 

But hiring a CDO isn’t enough to ensure data success, as just 26.5 percent of respondents consider themselves data-driven organizations. That’s because data leaders face several obstacles, among them:

Ill-Defined, Unclear, and Varying Job Descriptions

The CDO role continues to evolve, making it difficult for the individuals holding the title to truly grasp their responsibilities, reporting structure, budget resources, and similar factors that all have a significant impact on their success.

A lack of an Enterprise-Wide Data Culture

This is a topic we’ve covered extensively at the APEX of Innovation, and a whopping 91 percent of respondents in the NewVantage report point to cultural impediments as the prime obstacle in their journeys to become more data-driven. To address this, the C-Suite must work together to incorporate data into the strategy for all key business areas and also work to ensure pervasive data access.

Lack of Employee Data Literacy 

If companies are struggling to adopt a data-driven culture, it follows that many employees also lack data literacy skills. Many workers today have to educate themselves on data, meaning they haven’t learned the proper techniques, methods, and best practices for managing and utilizing this information. CDOs must push to rectify this and get executive buy-in for training, education, and upskilling to increase data literacy throughout the organization.

Talent Challenges 

Of course, training isn’t sufficient to solve the perennial skills shortage. Forty-five percent of CDOs in a recent Gartner survey listed talent shortages among the top barriers preventing the success of their data and analytics initiatives. In addition to the challenges of hiring the right talent, many CDOs must often hone their own abilities.

Governance Issues 

Given the rate at which data is generated, many CDOs struggle to ensure that they can identify, capture, and deliver the right data at the right time to the right users. In addition, data is frequently trapped in silos within individual business units—limiting its ability to be shared and also for CDOs to assess its quality. Data leaders need strong governance practices to overcome these and related issues and ensure they have the right processes for collecting, storing, and overseeing security and usability of enterprise data.

Head over to TechTarget for more on these issues—and how to overcome them in your organization.