QA Group is working in close partnership with Carruthers and Jackson to deliver consultancy and learning interventions to help executives, senior stakeholders and the wider organisation understand how to deliver transformational value from data. The following is part of a series of ten blogs by Caroline Carruthers, re-published with permission especially for QA's customers and for any other organisation seeking revolutionary opportunities from the best use of data.

A previous article  proposed that a second generation CDO turns the 'possible' into an art form, 'understanding the nuances of the family and making the house a home, filled with wonder and intelligence'.

The first generation CDO who landed in the brown-field site, hopefully will have cleared the site and built good foundations. In data terms, this would mean an effective data governance  framework is in place and operational, and that the technology is in place to manage and master the data. The second generation CDO has a responsibility to maintain the foundations and keep abreast with technology innovations, however the second generation CDO should be seeking to deliver real value into the business.

The predecessor will probably have delivered the single customer view and created a process for maintaining the quality the of customer data. With these essentials in place, the 2nd generation CDO can bring additional value in a number of ways:

  • Advanced analytics and Data Science: the 1st generation CDO will have created an environment (collecting, storage and management) where data can be extracted and used or advanced analytics to provide customer or operational insight to obvious value to the business through increased revenue, reduced costs or increased market share.
  • Data Narrative: the 2nd CDO will be able to provide narrative around the data. She will be able to make the data tell a story.
  • Data visualisation: the 1st generation CDO will have established quality, governed data that can be used in data visualisations to communicate messages about the business progress or provide MI dashboards.
  • Publishing data: the 2nd generation CDO will be able to be transparent with data and publish data, either back to the client, into the business or into the public domain, because she has a complete understanding of the provenance and quality of the quality of the data.
  • Data refining: the 2nd generation CDO will be able to drive greater insight and value out the data.

If you find that you are devoting much of your time to these sorts of initiatives then you are probably a 2nd generation CDO. In effect though, you may be a hybrid 1st and 2nd generation or transitioning your organisation from 1st to 2nd generation CDO. The 2nd generation CDO will be able to take more risks be agile, fail quickly and achieve success fast, because of the solid work done by the 1st generation CDO.


About QA Group

QA helps individuals and organisations achieve their potential through world-class learning strategy and solution. This includes: a wide variety of business training and certifications, including Prince2® and ITIL®.

From Cyber Security, data analytics and IT training, to leadership and management skills and project management, QA is here to help individuals and businesses win in the digital revolution. We’re also one of the leading providers of apprenticeships in the UK, covering specialisms such as cyber security, digital marketing and software development and partnering with world leading software vendors such as Microsoft, AWS and Salesforce.

With over 22 UK training centres and a range of online learning options, QA offers an unparalleled set of learning solutions to both private and public sector organisations.

About Carruthers and Jackson

In the world we live in, data is recognised as an asset but organisations are still struggling with how to drive the true value from it. We look to all the exciting advances being made around innovations like Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (augmented intelligence), but if organisations don't get their data right first, they are just building houses of cards. Carruthers and Jackson was set up to make sure this doesn't happen to you.

For more information on the products and services Carruthers and Jackson offer, please visit