Wanted: Chief Data Officer

I've always wanted to coin a term. And I have just the one that our industry needs: Chief Data Officer. That's right. Chief Data Officer. Immediately, it'd be shortened to CDO. Or if you want to be real cute, you could pronounce it c-doh.

Every company should have one. The job description would be simple.

Fortune 500 Company seeks candidate to manage all current and past data that passes through the corporate network.

The CDO would be a critical member of the executive team and spend many a restless night just figuring out how to handle the massive amounts of data that travels across the company's internal, remote and partner networks.

He/she would fret over compliance and governance issues. Is every regulation being met to the highest standard possible? Are there loopholes? Have all systems been optimally linked to offer the most up-to-date, integrated reports?

The CDO would also worry about digital rights management. Is the integrity of the data in the network being compromised or corrupted? Are there policies in place to make sure that the appropriate personnel are able to modify documents or files? Is there a state-of-the-art identity management system up and running that bars users from manipulating data?

As for storage of information, the CDO would be on the front lines of helping to decide what types of storage media should be attached to each application. He/she would lead the charge in prioritizing the importance of all the data generated in a corporation. Disk? Tape? Off-site? On-site? Redundancy? These are all discussions that the CDO would handle, knowing what information needed to be at the ready for auditing or legal scenarios.

Spam and e-mail security issues would also land at the CDO's doorstep as it would be his/her job to make sure that corporate data is not vulnerable. A no-tolerance policy would be Job One.

In the end, the CDO would be one of the most important people within each company, reigning supreme over all the information created, stored and even deleted from the network. What a job!

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