The Chief Data Officer (CDO) role first developed within the financial sector in the early 2000s. Once the utility of the role became widely understood, the prevalence and prominence of the role grew rapidly.

However, evolution of the role was not linear. To this day, companies often lack consensus when it comes to the type of background and responsibilities required to fill the position. Once the position has been filled, internal disagreements surrounding what a CDO should focus on continue to abound.

As a result, CDOs frequently find it challenging to achieve career success. The average tenure for a CDO is only 2-3 years. By comparison, the average CIO’s tenure is four years.

In an effort to help businesses reform broken hiring and measurement practices, The Harvard Business Review neatly lays out seven different types of CDO roles. “Each [is] distinct enough that it would be difficult or impossible for one person to perform all of them well.”

In knowing what your organization needs, you can bring in a CDO who’s more effective, lasts longer, and who enjoys working with you.

Read the Harvard Business Review’s assessment and bring new clarity to the CDO’s role within your organization.