Understanding The Role Of The Chief Data Officer


August 21st, 2022

47 mins 10 secs

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About this Episode


The position of Chief Data Officer (CDO) is relatively new in the business world and has not been universally adopted. As a result, not everyone understands what the responsibilities of the role are, when you need one, and how to hire for it. In this episode Tracy Daniels, CDO of Truist, shares her journey into the position, her responsibilities, and her relationship to the data professionals in her organization.


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  • Your host is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Tracy Daniels about the role and responsibilities of the Chief Data Officer and how it is evolving along with the ecosystem


  • Introduction
  • How did you get involved in the area of data management?
  • Can you describe what your path to CDO of Truist has been?
    • As a CDO, what are your responsibilities and scope of influence?
  • Not every organization has an explicit position for the CDO. What are the factors that determine when that should be a distinct role?
    • What is the relationship and potential overlap with a CTO?
  • As the CDO of Truist, what are some of the projects/activities that are vying for your time and attention?
  • Can you share the composition of your teams and how you think about organizational structure and integration for data professionals in your company?
  • What are the industry and business trends that are having the greatest impact on your work as a CDO?
    • How has your role evolved over the past few years?
  • What are some of the organizational politics/pressures that you have had to navigate to achieve your objectives?
    • What are some of the ways that priorities at the C-level can be at cross purposes to that of the CDO?
  • What are some of the skills and experiences that you have found most useful in your work as CDO?
  • What are the most interesting, innovative, or unexpected ways that you have seen the CDO position/responsibilities addressed in other organizations?
  • What are the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while working as a CDO?
  • When is a distinct CDO position the wrong choice for an organization?
  • What advice do you have for anyone who is interested in charting a career path to the CDO seat?

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Parting Question

  • From your perspective, what is the biggest gap in the tooling or technology for data management today?


The intro and outro music is from The Hug by The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

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