CDAO Community Pulse on AI & Your Business

July 2023

Chief Data Officers (CDOs) and Chief Data and Analytics Officers (CDAOs) have been mastering artificial intelligence and machine learning for years, but the introduction of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has reshaped the data landscape, creating new opportunities and challenges for data and analytics leaders. With so many unknowns, Evanta’s CDAO communities across the world have been gathering to discuss generative AI use cases and concerns. 

We surveyed our communities to learn how data and analytics executives are thinking about and approaching generative AI this year. Learn what 125 CDAOs had to say about their current and future plans, anticipated benefits and risks and how they believe generative AI will impact the future of business.

Are CDOs and CDAOs Currently Using It? 

More than half of data leaders (54%) are currently using ChatGPT or another generative AI tool at their organizations. When asked to describe how they are using it, many expressed that they are in a “testing or piloting” phase or using it for “proof of concept.” A few shared that they are using it to simply code and write emails. For CDOs and CDAOs not using Generative AI, many shared data safety, security and legal concerns while others in heavily regulated industries are bound from using the technology, and they are sticking with “home grown AI models.”

Do They Have a Company Policy?

40% of data and analytics leaders are still in the process of developing an approach to AI tools, but do not have one yet. Thirty percent are allowing specific employees to use the tools, and only 19% allow open access at their organizations.

What’s Their Outlook?

An astounding 90% of CDOs and CDAOs shared they have a positive outlook on generative AI and its impact on the future of business. Only 7% have a neutral feeling, and a mere 3% have a “somewhat negative” or “very negative” standpoint.

What Are the Opportunities?

When asked about the short- and mid-term opportunities of generative AI, 31% of data and analytics leaders believe it can augment or improve current processes, 26% presume it will automate redundant tasks and save time, and 23% think it will aid in providing insights from analytics. In the comments, many suggested it will also provide value to customers.

What Is the Future Impact?

For the anticipated long-term impact, 28% of data and analytics leaders believe generative AI has the opportunity to create operational efficiencies, while 23% believe it will remove tedious tasks from the workforce. Another 19% say it has the potential to improve customer experience. 

What Are Their Concerns?

Twenty-three percent of data and analytics leaders are equally concerned if data privacy is rigorous enough to meet their standards and if they can manage the security risks. Another 21% are weary if they can govern its use internally.

What Are Employees’ Concerns?

CDOs and CDAOs believe employees are most concerned with generative AI replacing their role (39%). Another 26% say employees are concerned with it causing general disruption and change, and 16% say they are concerned with their role changing. In the comments, however, a few shared that their employees are not worried about generative AI, and they are instead “pumped” and looking to use it “faster.”

Future Impact of Generative AI

Data and analytics leaders elaborated on what they think the future impact of generative AI will be on business. Here is a sample of their comments: 

        Expedite coding and analysis.”

        Remove our dependency on reports and dashboards.”

        Free staff up to innovate.”

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Based on 125 CDO and CDAO responses to Evanta’s Community Pulse Survey, June 2023.


by CDAOs, for CDAOs

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