5 things you must do before hiring a Chief Data Officer - Wyatt Partners

5 things you must do before hiring a Chief Data Officer

5 things you need to do to be ready to hire a Chief Data Officer:


Define the use cases:

You need to be able to do this as part of your communication strategy, verbally & in any written format.  This information you should pass onto anyone involved in the recruiting processes.  Being able to communicate this to prospective Executives will be crucial in bringing them to the hiring table.

The best people just won’t be interested based on generic “help us leverage” or “drive value from Data” type verbiage.  You need to define and communicate potential use cases.



Define what success looks like:

What are the metrics that this individual and team are going to affect in your business?

And where would you like those metrics to be which would indicate success?

Whatever it is in your business you need to be clear on it, whether that’s increasing users by 20%, increasing monthly spend by 20%, cutting costs by X & operational efficiency by Y.  Or even if it’s just ensuring by X date we are delivering the right insights to this team using defined data.

Whatever it is, it needs to be defined.  Good people want to know what they are being asked to achieve.



Be clear & precise on the experience you are looking for and how you will assess for it:

The common communication strategy you see is companies saying they want an individual who ‘loves all things data’ and has led Data Analytics teams previously.

It’s to generic and your search for the right person won’t be focused, which will waste a huge amount of time.

You have to be so clear & precise on this, and it will be different on a case by case basis.

And when you are the next step will be to define some killer questions & ideal answers you’d be looking for from the right individual.

Share this information with anyone involved in the Search & hiring process.



Be clear on reporting lines & where the role sits in the organisation

You wouldn’t believe how many times we hear that this “hasn’t been decided yet” long after a company has gone to market on a hire.

If you aren’t clear on this it will be a massive red flag to the best people, and it’s probably a good indicator there might be some more internal work before you are ready to make the hire.



Define the Budget

What is going to be in the pot for this person when they join that can go towards Staff, Processes, Technology, Training etc.

The best people will want to know this in the interview process

They may push back and give their opinion on what more or less is need, but that is a good thing as at least this enables that conversation to take place.

Many times you see a CDO start a role with differing expectations to the company on budget, as a proper conversation has never really taken place.