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72 percent Data & Analytics Leaders Participate in Digital Transformation Initiatives: Gartner Survey

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According to Gartner, Inc.'s sixth annual Chief Data Officer (CDO) report, 72 percent of data and analytics (D&A) executives with digital initiatives are either leading or strongly active in their organization's digital transformation initiatives.

These results were discussed by Gartner analysts at the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit 2021, which is being held digitally in the Americas until Thursday.

The percentage of Data & Analytics Leaders Participating in Digital Transformation Initiatives was 72 percent, with 24 percent indicating that they are 'leading,' 48 percent 'heavily involved,' 18 percent 'involved,' 7 percent 'somewhat involved,' and 3 percent indicating that they are 'not involved’.

From September to November 2020, 469 CDOs, chief analytics officers and other high-level data and analytics executives from around the world participated in Gartner's sixth annual Chief Data Officer survey. They represented 16 distinct industry segments of companies ranging from less than $10 million to more than $10 billion, with 61 percent exceeding $1 billion.

D&A leaders' top priorities are data quality are 51 percent, ROI from D&A investments are 44 percent and data sharing are 43, but their position will not be seen as valuable unless they concentrate on stakeholders' KPIs.

According to Debra Logan, distinguished Research Vice President, Gartner, “the findings show that more companies now appreciate the synergy between creating a data-driven company and leading digital transformation. A D&A strategy is a business strategy that incorporates D&A thinking; it plays a key role in digital business strategy, impacting everything the company does”.

While only 24 percent of respondents said they are in charge of digital transformation, the distinction between CDOs and chief digital officers is becoming increasingly blurred. When digital business turns into business as normal, CDOs are being asked to take on more strategic goals and lead digital transformation initiatives.

CDOs with multiple business partners and business-facing KPIs are 1.7 times more likely to reliably produce strong business benefit by effectively demonstrating ROI from D&A investments. They're also 2.3 times more likely to be successful in reducing time to market and 3.5 times more likely to be successful in monetizing data.

CDOs who fail to demonstrate a correlation between D&A and business value and are more likely to concentrate on technology rather than people are less competitive.

Furthermore, 93 percent of CDOs stated that good communication is crucial to their roles' success. Influencing, commitment, and constructive communication plans are the most critical skills for D&A leaders. These are leadership qualities, not management. “The CDO would likely not perform well in their position if they do not exert control through the company by encouraging data sharing, engaging stakeholders, and educating the workforce to become data literate,” Ms. Logan said.

According to Debra Logan, distinguished Research Vice President, Gartner, “the findings show that more companies now appreciate the synergy between creating a data-driven company and leading digital transformation. A D&A strategy is a business strategy that incorporates D&A thinking; it plays a key role in digital business strategy, impacting everything the company does”.

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