Chief Data Officer Vs. Chief Information Officer

Dec 21, 2017

Chief data officers and chief information officers create the technological infrastructure and related policies for a company, but the former focuses more on data collection, while the latter focuses on overall system development.

Comparing Chief Data Officers to Chief Information Officers

Chief data officers and chief information officers maintain a business's software and hardware, including platforms used to organize large data sets. Readers will learn about their degree levels, salaries, career outlooks, and common responsibilities.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)**
Chief Data Officers Bachelor's Degree $176,387 -3% (Chief Executives)
Chief Information Officers Bachelor's Degree $153,107 12% (Computer and Information Systems Managers)

Sources: *PayScale, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Chief Data Officers vs. Chief Information Officers

Both chief data officers and chief information officers may work in technology departments. They may work together to pave the way for a data culture within a company, allowing the customer information, spending, and logistical data a company gathers to guide important changes. Chief data officers are at the forefront of the fight for data analysis, even creating models for what the data should entail and who in the company should use it. Chief information officers, on the other hand, oversee the technological development of a company, allowing organized workflow and automation to drive overall costs down.

Chief Data Officers

The chief executive who oversees how data is gathered and used is known as the chief data officer. This professional may carry a background in statistics and technology. It is their job to make access to data available throughout a company. To accomplish this, they use standardized data modelling techniques to help visualize the data and translate it to business decisions. Chief data officers understand the company goals and determine which data should be collected to help meet these goals. Working with chief information officers allows them to create quality measures for the data collected, ensuring its accuracy and value.

Job responsibilities of a chief data officer include:

  • Using data ethically, particularly the personal information collected from customers
  • Securing a company's data from hackers and other unauthorized users
  • Leading design and development teams related to the software used for data collection and analysis
  • Moving towards the more cost-effective and automated data collection techniques

Chief Information Officers

Chief information officers lead the information technology (IT) strategy for a company. Along with board members and other executives, they create policies and procedures related to technology use. This means collecting data on productivity to further improve workflow through technology. Often with a background in IT, these officers lead the technology department's managers who oversee daily operations. Some of these include the design of new applications and the setup of new hardware to support common business processes. Chief information officers work to integrate new technology, such as cloud systems and data analytics. They also purchase new hardware and software from vendors.

Job responsibilities of a chief information officer include:

  • Supervising changes and updates to computer systems
  • Offering employees training in new technology
  • Maintaining a budget for the technology department
  • Viewing vendor contracts to find those who offer the newest technology for the best price

Related Careers

Chief data officers and database administrators find ways to deal with a company's data, so those interested in the former could explore the latter in more detail. Additionally, chief information officers and network architects integrate technology into a company, and these are both worth researching as alternative options as well.

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