/ Every Company Needs a Bridge Builder to Close the Data Gap

Data is the lifeblood of a company’s business, but its value is severely diminished when it’s locked away in silos. That’s why every CIO needs to be a bridge builder.

In a recent report, Gartner wrote that most organizations have identified the need to build a data-driven organization, a development reflected by the increasing appointment of chief data officers (CDO). At the same time NewVantage Partners, a consultancy, reports that 63% of organizations have a CDO, up from just 12% in 2012.

To use data effectively and competitively, every enterprise needs a bridge builder, an executive to establish and enforce a comprehensive data strategy across all lines of business. The good news: The CIO can work closely with the CDO to play this role.

Bridge-builders align analysis with business strategy, support complex decision making through sophisticated analysis, and nurture an analytic and collaborative culture. Data-obsessed companies unify and leverage every byte of information, across departments, to strategize its next moves and see around corners.

Organizations undergoing digital transformation need CIOs to articulate the value of data sharing across departments, establishing trust between departments, creating incentives for doing so, and empowering everyone in the value chain to be a change agent. Bridge builders work across all lines of business, rising above disparate data sources and competing priorities to establish an enterprise-wide data strategy that is embraced by all.

While CIOs can lead the charge, anyone with the wherewithal to do so can play the role of bridge-builder. By establishing trust and data-sharing with counterparts in other departments, individuals can raise their own visibility and demonstrate initiative that helps build careers.

Why CIOs need to bridge the gap

Companies across varied industries have invested billions in technology to help collect and analyze data. The problem is that many of these investments were made on an ad hoc, department-by-department, basis to drive their own business objectives. This has created individual data silos across the organization. 

CIOs need to break down those barriers, and focus on the link between data, analytics, and business outcomes. As “data bridgers,” you should work with all business leaders to identify company-wide priorities, and determine what data will help your organization meet those objectives.

As your organization moves towards becoming data-driven, you will also need to help the business overcome ingrained mistrust between departments regarding data ownership and use.

This is powerful, and extends far beyond a traditional responsibility for cost savings, risk compliance, and operational efficiency. This transforms the CIO’s role into that of a change agent and creative data champion that drives new business value by extracting insights from aggregate data sources.

CIOs have an unprecedented opportunity

The value of information is enhanced exponentially when its availability is maximized within the organization. Bridge-builders support and facilitate self-serve data analytics with easy-to-use dashboards where information is consolidated into a single view. This not only creates a flexible analytical environment, but also empowers everyone in the organization to identify opportunities and challenges, and to make their own decisions.

CIOs, and your CDO counterparts, have a unique and unprecedented opportunity to finally bridge the gap between technology and business. Neither can exist, let alone thrive, in a vacuum.

Click here to learn how Domo empowers CIOs to create a data-driven company.