2020 in the CDO Community

Year in Review Infographic
A Look Back at the CDO Journey

2020 was one for the record books in all kinds of ways. One bright spot for CDOs was seizing the opportunity to empower their businesses with true insights. Here is a look at the journey the Evanta CDO Community took this year.

CDOs told us in our proprietary Leadership Perspectives Survey that they started the year focused on these 3 critical priorities:


By March, the focus shifted to COVID, securing remote work, and supporting business continuity. These were the top concerns at the start of the pandemic, according to our Community Pulse survey -- 

37% of CDOs said there was little disruption to business operations

41% expected standard business operations to return to normal in 6 to 12 months

58% predicted a significant impact on business revenue

Our CDO communities got together virtually and discussed these topics with their peers:


In May town hall discussions, two leaders offered their thoughts on crisis response:

Data has never been so important for decision making. We must provide the right data to the right people at the right time. We had 10 top priorities, but now everyone is just focused on the top 3 initiatives. It’s a great time to collaborate with the business. Data and analytics must understand how a business leader thinks.

Financial Services SVP & CDO
Detroit CDO Community

We are not only analytics leaders, but leaders for the company. We are taking a three-fold approach for the new normal: how to help clients, how to help the business make better decisions, and how to help the team. CDOs need to be agile and provide analytics at speed to help clients and the business.

Business Services CDO
New York City CDO Community


By summer, CDOs recognized this was a sustained period of uncertainty, according to our Pulse Survey.

34% cited keeping the business running as their primary business concern

32% were spending the majority of their time on leadership strategy

41% expected standard business operations to return to normal in 6 to 12 months

Data and analytics leaders began to return to their top 3 critical priorities in the fall:


In October, CDOs discussed how they could manage the growth in requests for data and establish data governance best practices:

A mentor once gave me a mantra that I continue to live by: Share information, don’t share data. We have to remember that data is growing faster than what we can keep up with. How can we continue to manage the growth in a way that is productive and beneficial for us?

Health Services CDO
Minneapolis CDO Community

Governance is a long journey and we will consider ourselves successful when we are able to do governance without ever saying the word governance, because at that point, you know you’re doing everything right.

Manufacturing CDO
Chicago CDO Community


Throughout the year, CDOs recognized that with crisis comes opportunity. By rising to that challenge, CDOs have accelerated their initiatives and created a high profile for their role in business decision-making.

Moving into 2021, here are 3 predictions about what CDOs will focus on next year:


by CDOs, for CDOs

2,765 data and analytics leaders participated in 98 Evanta CDO discussions this year. 
Keep the conversations going in 2021.