In larger, complex environments where several of the factors listed above are at play, delivering sustainable and scalable value becomes even more critical. Organizations like these typically have extensive data footprints, sprawling commercial ecosystems, and significant data investments that need to demonstrate a return on investment.
The context is complex
As an experienced CDO, you’ll already understand the nuances within each of the six areas above. But above all, it is complexity that creates some of the biggest challenges for CDOs. Let’s take a look at each of the broad areas where you’ll encounter complexity:
Data: Quality, timeliness, format, structure, location, update frequency, governance, etc.
Users: Data scientists, analysts, engineers, domain experts, business leaders, data product managers, legal, compliance, etc.
Technology: Databases, source systems, file storage, cloud storage, data lakes, data warehouses, etc.
Boundaries: Teams, departments, legal entities, jurisdictions, partners, customers, suppliers, etc.
Traditionally, efforts to address this complexity have been heavily focused on technology. However, it’s become increasingly clear that no single technology can cater to the diversity of data and users while seamlessly crossing organizational boundaries. Attempts to simplify have sometimes compounded the issue, such as the push towards data centralization, which is not only creates dependencies on certain technologies and providers, but can lead to spiraling costs.
Recent approaches like federated and decentralized data architectures, such as data fabric and data mesh, have gained traction for addressing complexity rather than eliminating it. But they too come with challenges, such as a lack of concrete recommendations and the evolving nature of the required technology.
At Harbr, we understand the intricacies of both centralized and decentralized data architectures. With extensive experience in supporting hybrid data ecosystems across some of the world’s largest data-driven organizations, we are well-equipped to offer insights and solutions to your unique challenges.
To understand more about handling this complexity and diversity of data, users, technology, and organizational boundaries, take a look at our CDO Survival Guide. It goes into detail about practical solutions that will help you to navigate these complexities effectively and deliver value to your organization. You’ll also find helpful resources, such as:
- Do’s and Don’ts for developing and deploying your data strategy
- Advice on managing data across silos, business units, and partners
- Perspective on how to think about the diverse needs of the users you serve
In the world of data leadership, knowledge is power. Let us help you stay ahead of the curve.
For additional perspectives on the life of the modern CDO, check Tech Exec magazine’s recent coverage of BDO’s Denholm Hesse and Harbr’s Anthony Cosgrove.