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As EasyJet’s high-flying, top marketer departs, an unexpected replacement is checking in.

EasyJet’s high-flying, top marketer, Peter Duffy who has worked for the company for almost seven years has departed, just two months after EasyJet’s newly appointed CEO took over from former boss Carolyn McCall. What’s interesting is that this C-suite shake up us unlike most others, and comes just after EasyJet saw a revenue increase of 14.4% in its first quarter. EasyJet has taken the first step towards ridding the role of chief commercial officer, responsible for revenue generation, as well as marketing, digital and brand, in favour for a rather unusual and unprecedented replacement.

Johan Lundgren, CEO of EasyJet has replaced the airlines chief commercial officer role, its top marketing spot, with a chief data officer post.

“I’m changing the structure in that I am creating the new position of chief data officer, who will report directly to myself and will further build on work we have already done with data science to exploit the opportunity of the billions of data points [we have] within the organisation,” says Lundgren, according to the Financial Times.

This latest EasyJet re-shuffle is part of Johan Lundgren’s plans to “give greater focus and weight to the airline’s use of this data to improve the customer proposition, drive revenue, reduce cost and improve operational reliability”.

What Exactly Does The Role Of CDO Involve?

The CDO is a senior executive, responsible for an organisations enterprise wide data and information strategy, as well as governance, control and policy development.

A common misconception of the role of chief data officer is that they are responsible for governance, data stewardship and information security. For some CDO’s, this does form a major part of their role, but for the majority of CDO’s, their time and effort is actually being spent on helping the business to make better decisions based on information and analytics. In fact, in our top BI trends for 2018, we noted that the role of chief data officer was on the rise, with more and more businesses scouting out suitable candidates for the role.

The CDO’s Impact On The CIO

Intriguingly, whilst the role of CDO is on the rise, the role of CIO (chief information officer) is set to change.
Whilst the role of CIO varies largely between organisations, traditionally, they have been responsible for the information technology and computer systems that support business goals. It has been the responsibility of the CIO to innovate and balance the IT budget. However, as we continue to witness the rise of the CDO, responsible for creating a culture of analytics, CIO’s are being left to lead data security strategy. Could this be the answer to closing the gap that has formed between the business and the CIO, as a result of fighting security and governance vs speed to insight?

The Number 1 Reason Your Business Needs A CDO

Although some CIO’s and CTO’s see the new C-suite addition of the chief data officer as a potential threat and an encroachment, most are pleased to see the data dilemma that so many organisations face, today, finally being taken care of. Items such as data quality, data governance and data management all fall under the role of senior data executives, and it is the responsibility of the CDO to craft effective strategies in order to generate maximum value out of all things data.

Getting the right tools in place for effectively attaining maximum value and insight from data, is as important as it is to gain clarity on how the attained insights will be used in the business. By having the right strategy in place, as well as the required tools, the CDO can effectively lead a strong team of data engineers, scientists and analysts and apply their skills to create positive outcomes for your organisation, by creating value from all things data and applying the insight gleaned to make more informed business decisions.

Posted in Big Data

February 20, 2018