CDAO Leadership Perspectives

CDAO Views on 2020 Priorities & Challenges
October 2020

COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on businesses and organizations around the world in 2020. Business leaders have had to rethink products, processes, supply chains, and workforce and business models. They accelerated digital transformation -- if they hadn’t already -- as a survival strategy. 

In the midst of this disruption, C-level leaders connected virtually with their peers in Evanta communities to share ideas and collaborate on rebounding and leading their teams through the crisis. They offered their perspectives in one major survey and several pulse surveys, enabling us to compile and share sentiments among all CDAO peer communities. 

Here, we explore the topics that are driving conversations among the most influential CDAOs in the world. 

Mission Critical Priorities

Despite the upheaval of 2020, CDAOs remain focused on these top 5 priorities for the second half of the year.

In early 2020 before the pandemic, CDAOs’ priorities were similar. Creating a data-driven culture was already top of mind, while other priorities have shifted slightly on the list.

  1. Establishing a data-driven culture across the organization
  2. Improving data & analytics governance
  3. Deploying an effective data & analytics operating model

Their planned business spending and investments are in areas that address their top priorities.

For their top priority of creating a data-driven culture, CDAOs cited specific goals in our survey. Here is a sample of what they set out for their teams and organizations to pursue:

  • Creating timely, consistently actionable insights
  • Becoming an insight-driven organization
  • Enabling enterprise-wide thinking 
  • Leveraging data to drive business growth
  • Providing intelligence with suggested actions

CDAOs also told us what challenges they anticipated when it comes to driving toward those goals. Here is what they cited as the challenges to creating a data-driven culture  in their organizations: 

  • Aligning across businesses or units
  • Implementing organizational change and trust in data
  • Changing mindsets from reporting to data analytics
  • Varying levels of data maturity
  • Competing business priorities

CDAO Profile

A snapshot of what data and analytics leaders are thinking about going into the 4th quarter of 2020.

As business leaders head into 2021, there is continued uncertainty around the pandemic, the economic impacts, and the organizational effects of the distributed, remote workforce. To join conversations with fellow CDAOs on these topics and more, find your local CDAO community or view the calendar for upcoming opportunities to connect virtually with your peers.


Mission Critical Priorities are taken from Evanta’s proprietary Leadership Perspective Survey of 2020. 
CDAO Profile results are taken from Evanta’s monthly pulse surveys conducted from April-August 2020.



by CDAOs, for CDAOs

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