Deep Sea Adventure

Find & Hire a Chief Data Officer

Understand the Terrain

Once leadership commits to building a data governance strategy, teams can create and define the role of the Chief Data Officer (CDO).

The ideal CDO dives deep into data siloes and makes sense of their unknown depths. They work across siloes to define data-related pain points, reporting structures, and future goals. In essence, the CDO is equal parts detective, explorer, data wizard, and bridge builder.

Finding someone with this rare combination of talents is hard but not impossible.

Beware of Pathway Obstacles

  • The Dual Role Red Herring: Don’t add the CDO title to someone who already has a full-time role within your institution. The CDO role should be separate and distinct.
  • Insufficient Authority: The most qualified CDO can’t succeed without explicit authority to set data governance policy. Otherwise, they will encounter bottlenecks of internal resistance.

Use These Tools to Forge Ahead

  • Chief Data Officer Job Description: Avoid the dual role red herring by crafting a clear CDO job description. Collect our CDO sample job description tool and use the guidelines included to aptly define the role for your institution.
  • CDO Interview Podcast: Instead of hiring a CDO with insufficient authority, listen to this Tambellini podcast interview with San Cannon, the pioneering CDO for the University of Rochester. Cannon shares her tips for creating the right-fit role for an inaugural CDO.

Reach the Ideal Outcome

With a clearly defined CDO role, institutional leaders and their teams have consistent expectations. It’s time to progress to the Jungle Adventure: Creating a Data Ownership Structure.

Explore more adventures.

Higher Education Institutions


Solution Providers & Investors

market insights
Michael Bisson: Vice President of Student Product Strategy at Workday
Michael Bisson
Vice President, Student Product Strategy
Workday logo

Michael joined Workday in 2013 seeding the Student project team and contributing to its initial architecture and design. Michael led the Product Management team as they designed the core student product and facilitated a three-year customer design partner program. Today, Michael leads the Product Strategy team responsible for determining market fit, competitive market intelligence, and overall product direction. Prior to joining Workday, Michael worked 16 years at Peoplesoft and Oracle in support of the Campus Solutions product in Product Management, Development, and Support. Michael has committed his professional career to the improvement of higher education management through the design and development of Student Information Systems.

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