Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Washington, DC CDAO Community

Daniel Chaddock

Chief Data Officer


Dan Chaddock is the Chief Data Officer for Gartner. Gartner provides actionable, objective insight to executives and their teams. Gartner is a member of the S&P 500 with over $4B in revenue. Dan has three decades of leading technical teams as a problem solver with a passion for the next generation of technologies. 

Learn more about leaders in the Washington, DC CDAO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I have been in the data field my entire career. From the private sector to the public sector to a not-for-profit company, the challenges differ but the theme is the same. All want to maximize their use of the data. This brought me to Gartner as their first CDO. Being able to define the role is an experience that I treasure.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

My goal is to make the unknown known. I believe the only real tool we have is our words. Words matter. So I tend to over communicate by clarifying the expectations, explaining the why, plus engaging broadly and often.

With disruption being a key theme of recent years, where do you see the CDAO role going in the next 1-2 years?

One of the most interesting things about a Chief Data Officer position is who they report into. They can report into the CIO/CTO, COO, CFO or CEO — each with a little different focus. I believe the technology is available to solve most data challenges. I believe metrics can be pushed out to different roles. I believe data efficiency and data literacy are perpetual focus areas. All this to say, I believe the CDAO will begin to report more into the CEO with a focus on monetization.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a CDAO?

Do not confuse collaboration with consensus. You absolutely need collaboration, but not necessarily consensus. Create the space for ideas to collide, explore the right questions and maximize your cognitive diversity. However, in the end, you are the decision maker. Understanding the difference between collaboration and consensus will help accelerate the change you seek to implement.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. I have visited 33 countries.
  2. I love all cuisines.
  3. I’m an avid cyclist.

What is the value of participating in an Evanta community?

I love the story of the Balinese monkey trap. A monkey trap is fairly simple. It is made of rope, a coconut with a small hole and a shiny treasure inside. The hole is large enough to fit a monkey’s hand, but too small to fit the fist of the monkey when clasped around the shiny object. The trap works because the monkey, after grabbing the shiny object, refuses to release his grip. I love the implications of this simple story. Unclenching our fist helps avoid old ideas from entrapping us. Evanta’s community of peers helps exchange ideas and consider new approaches. 



Evanta Governing Body members share their insights and leadership perspectives to shape the agendas and topics that address the top priorities impacting business leaders today.



by CDAOs, for CDAOs

Join the conversation with peers in your local CDAO community.