Head of Data: Responsibilities & Skills

Head of Data is in high demand in today’s data-driven and technology-driven economy, but do you know what is the role of head of date and what’s are their skills and responsibilities in a company? If not, keep reading. In this post, we’ll introduce head of data and their responsibilities and skills.

Head of Data

Head of Data

What is a head of data?

The head of data is in charge of the data science team and is responsible for controlling, deploying and evaluating data for the company he works for. As a data specialist, his role is to support organizations in collecting and analyzing data.

Expert in analytical tools, the head of data must have a mathematical logic in order to interpret and analyze the numerical data. The data professional must be a pedagogue, to better transmit his tables and results to the different teams. In connection with all the trades of a company, he must be able to adapt easily to personalities in order to communicate with fluidity. Rigorous and autonomous, he is therefore a versatile person. In addition, he likes to learn through his self-taught side. Constantly monitoring news in IT and data, he also knows how to demonstrate a spirit of synthesis. These different qualities allow him to carry out his projects.

What are the responsibilities of head of data? 

Initially a data scientist or data engineer, the role of the head of data is to implement and manage data structure projects. He therefore provides his own expertise based on company-specific data usage models and goals. In this way, he developed a strategy for leveraging data architectures. His role, therefore, is to guide the action to be taken. His mission is to define a road map for actions to be taken, support the growth of the company, organize and control data collection and analysis.

As the guarantor of data security quality, he must ensure data consistency and reliability across business areas. He controls the data and its use (collection, storage, utilization). The first challenge for head of data is the ability to explore and go into uncharted territory on topics that are critical to the company.

The head of data is also responsible for overseeing and managing a team of data scientists/engineers to come up with the most appropriate and reliable solutions. As a leader, he must make his employees want to develop and display their skills.

At the same time, he made his findings available to other business teams in his structure. His interpersonal skills and professionalism enable him to popularize his own language to suit all interlocutors and provide them with a coherent vision of the company’s activities.

Although these data-related jobs are fairly recent, they are positions that work in all types of structure: finance, insurance, aeronautics, IT or mass distribution. With the acceleration of digital transformation, companies are looking for data professionals.

What skills and qualities should a head of data possess?

  1. Mastery of structured languages ​​and expertise in data storage;
  2. Knowledge of Digital Law and GDPR regulations;
  3. Notions of the tools used by the IT teams;
  4. Ability to interpret results;
  5. Be results oriented;
  6. Excellent analytical mind;
  7. Curious and rigorous;
  8. Team spirit and good communication;

Heads of Data vs Chief Data Officers

Chief Data Officers focus on their interactions with businesses and how they use Data. There is less emphasis on technology and infrastructure, as these remain the responsibility of the CIO or CTO. Chief Data Officers may report directly to the CEO, but often also report to R&D or finance. If the Chief Data Officers are primarily focused on governance, with the ultimate goal of creating a data-driven enterprise, the Head of Data is a new type of role designed around growth-oriented customer activities.

Like many new data-centric jobs, Head of Data is a multifaceted role that requires people to be effective collaborators and communicators, but also skilled technologists. The Head of Data of the future must have deep domain knowledge and be able to skillfully optimize SQL and present it to senior management and board-level stakeholders.

Unlike the Chief Data Officers, the Head of Data may report to the Chief Product Officer or Chief Customer Officer, but the reporting structure will depend on the company. Chief Data Officers often have a strong grounding in data governance or risk management, which I think limits their potential in the business. Heads of Data may come from product management, data science or engineering backgrounds and are more focused on customer value and growth.


Thank you for reading our article and we hope it can help you to have a better understanding of head of data and his responsibilities and skills. If you want to know more about head of data, we would like to advise you to visit Gudu SQLFlow for more information. Thanks again! (Published by Ryan on Apr 25, 2022)

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