With the proliferation of data into nearly every business decision, the chief data officer (CDO) role is more significant than ever before. However, there is still confusion about what the role truly entails. “The chief data officer’s role is becoming a strategic role that not only assists with innovation but also ensures that the data is handled properly and with the consumer always in mind,” Mastercard CDO JoAnn Stonier told us. This first installment in our series on the role provides an overview of the history and prevalence of the CDO, the common skill sets and priorities of the position, and how the CDO differs from and can collaborate with the CPO. Subsequent coverage will explore common reporting structures for the CDO team, obtaining necessary budgets and the CDO’s role in complying with laws such as the CCPA and in connection with working with third parties. See also “How to Effectively Find, Compensate and Structure Cybersecurity Leadership (Part One of Two)” (Dec. 14, 2016); Part Two (Jan. 11, 2017).