Why PLM should friend Chief Data Officer?


Technology space is good about inventing new jobs, titles and responsibilities. Until now, we knew about CEO, COO, CIO… The last one was a very important guy when it came to the decision point about enterprise software. PLM included. The dream of every PLM vendor and implementer was to get closer to CIO to influence company software strategies.

The explosive growth of data in companies influenced the creation of new jobs and new roles. Have you heard about "data scientist" job? If not, you better learn about it now. According to HBR, data scientist becomes the sexiest job of 21st century. I stumbled on an interesting write up from Guidware blogChief Data Officer vs. Chief Scientist Officer. Read the article and draw your opinion. What became clear to me – people are paying more attention on what happens with information in an organization these days. The following passage from the article is actually explaining it very well.

It’s good to finally see appropriate attention paid to the power of information across the insurance value chain, particularly in atypical areas and through non-traditional means. Though, there is still an opportunity for data capabilities to mature significantly across the industry.

You can tell me "insurance" examples may not apply to manufacturing. Actually, I can see it even more applicable in manufacturing companies. Think about outsource design and suppliers contracts. How many anomalies you can find there? What about strange usage of components, reducing the overall number of component parts, suppliers, ECO processing time and many others. The article brings an interesting list of responsibilities of Chief Data Officer. Some of them sounds very related to product development processes, product data management and PLM. Here is the list –

Oversees Data Management Office (DMO) and related shared services
Accountable for Data Governance
Defines data standards and policies
Manages standard business taxonomy and data dictionary
Provides common tools and platforms
Responsible for data quality monitoring and management
Drives prioritization, provides budget, and oversees execution for related business and technology initiatives
Oversees data audits and largely supports regulatory compliance requirements

It made me think that people responsible for product lifecycle management, product development processes are actually should be very much interested in this role and related opportunities. Since CDO could be responsible for overall data management services, it can be very much connected to how product data can be managed by multiple applications (PLM included). Topics like data audit and regulation can be even more connected to product development processes.

What is my conclusion? Companies are getting more and more data driven these days. The new roles of data scientists, chief data officers, etc. are just a confirmation that people put lot of focus on the value data can bring. The role of PLM is traditionally very focused on integration of data and processes across organization. This is where making good friendship between PLM and DMO make a lot of sense and potential to bring value. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

5 Responses to Why PLM should friend Chief Data Officer?

  1. Hi Oleg. I believe that these new roles are somewhat evolutionary and driven by an increasing awareness and acceptance that disparate corporate data is an underutilized and most likely under-managed asset.

    BTW, I’m convinced that there will be a tectonic shift in data behavior over the next few years and these new roles are among the people that will force/facilitate the next evolution of the (business) software industry. Data generating and consumption technologies will be forced to ‘open’; allowing customers to asses/gain value from multitudes of (new) data dimensions in their business, and in ways not practical today (and not necessarily from existing players)….

    just my thoughts…:-)

  2. Patrick Brochu says:

    It can’t be said enough the value of any companies IP. When you stop to consider the investment made by these companies to create this data and to not have proper data managment or even security is amazing. Every day I visit clients and hear stories of data being stored on personal & local drives. When the discussion turns to the cost of this data and the value of leveraging properly managed data, is when the conversation really picks up.

    CDO, next customer visit i wil ask.

  3. Alan, thanks for your comment. I agree completely with your view on the role of the data in coming years… Love your association with ‘tectonic shift in data behavior’. The movements towards getting value from open data rather than value from holding data becomes obvious for strategically thinking vendors and customers. Best, Oleg

  4. Patrick, thanks for sharing customer stories you are hearing. I agree absolutely- the value hidden in data is huge. I’d love to listen more about CDO from you :)… Best, Oleg

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