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Chief Data Officer: skills, missions, training, salary

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Chief data Officer

Chief Data Officer is one of the many professions involved in Big Data. But what does it do? What is the CDO in charge of? What power does he or she have, and how much can he or she earn? These are the points we'll try to clarify in this article.

What is a Chief Data Officer?

The Chief Data Officer is a senior manager responsible for data within his or her company. However, his job should not be confused with that of Chief Digital Officer, also often shortened to CDO.

Due to its relatively recent nature, the position of CDO is rather difficult to define, as its missions are so diverse and evolving according to the company’s sector of activity. The CDO performs a wide range of functions, from data management to data quality control, via the management of Data Science teams. In short, the CDO is responsible for implementing the organization’s overall Data strategy.

What are the CDO's responsibilities?

The CDO has a wide range of responsibilities, including

  •  Management: advice, control, and governance of Data teams (Data Analyst, Data Scientist, etc.), cost reduction, etc.
  • Operations: ensuring the availability, usability, and utilization of Data, creating a Big Data atmosphere within the organization
  • Innovation: lead the company’s digital and IT transformation, a new source of revenue generation

Analysis: produce a product, customer, or market report, and ensure data quality and consistency.

What skills does a Chief Data Officer need?

To occupy the position of Chief Data Officer, you first need solid skills in mathematics and statistics.

They must also have enhanced managerial skills, as they are in charge of the Data Scientist and Data Analyst teams. As a result, he or she must, of course, be an expert in Data Science and master the methods, processes, and algorithms for extracting processing, formatting, and exploiting data.

They also need to be rigorous, organized, and reliable, since they handle potentially sensitive data of major strategic and financial value to their company. Advanced analytical skills are therefore also appreciated.

How to become a CDO?

To become a Chief Data Officer, you need at least 5 years of higher education. CDOs generally come from engineering schools.  

However, business school graduates with a specialization in Data Science or Big Data can also apply for a CDO job.

Of course, you’ll need to have worked as a Data Analyst or Data Scientist in the past.

Training courses such as the Data Scientist or Data Engineer courses we offer at DataScientest can help you achieve this type of position.

How much can a Chief Data Officer earn?

According to PayScale, the median income for a CDO in the USA is $178,606 per annum (including bonus), rising to $305,000 per year depending on the company.

In France, salaries are lower for the time being, and a CDO generally earns between 42,000 and $58,800 a year.

What are the prospects for a Chief Data Officer?

As the CDO profession is a new one, it’s hard to say what the “classic” career prospects are. What’s more, as the profession is highly qualified and the fruit of a multi-step career in data science, it is often the pinnacle of a career.

Prospects for advancement, particularly in terms of salary, seem to depend on inter-company mobility.


You now know (almost) everything there is to know about the job of Chief Data Officer! If this is a position you’d like to take up, don’t hesitate to take a look at our certified Data Analyst or Data Scientist training courses, which could be a real plus in your career transition.


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