The Chief Digital Officer is in charge of digital transformation for companies in transition, and directs digital strategy for companies that are already digital savvy. His or her main role is to bring awareness to corporate teams about digital behaviors and new ways to use digital media. He or she creates necessary strategies and structures depending on company services (business, communication, marketing, supply chain, HR, etc.). He or she sometimes directly supervises digital marketing teams (acquisition, media, e-commerce, data, etc.), and is sometimes called upon to review internal processes.
The Chief Digital Officer is often part of the marketing department, and sometimes reports directly to the CEO. Regardless, the CDO always works closely with top management. The CDO may also be responsible for reviewing some internal processes.
The Chief Data Officer oversees all data-related topics for the company. The role varies across businesses, but always includes the creation of a global data governance strategy – digital or not – to help various departments to improve decision-making processes and team efficiency, by leveraging data. He or she sometimes oversees operational implementation of this strategy, from data collection to modeling and analysis, as well as coordinating the work of operational teams. The appearance of CDO roles coincided with the advent of Big Data, which pushes companies to structure their data strategy.
The Chief Data Officer should not be confused with the Data Protection Officer (DPO), who, in compliance with GDPR, must be an independent party in order to fulfil his or her duties.