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Richard Wang

Richard Wang, Executive Director and Founder, CDOIQ

Describe your career to date   

I am the founder and general chair of the Annual CDOIQ Symposium. I am also a professor and executive director for the Institute for Chief Data Officers at University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I served as a deputy CDO and chief data quality officer, Headquarters, Department Army, Pentagon. I was also the first chief data officer of The State of Arkansas. I was also a professor at MIT Sloan School of Management for almost a decade. 

What key skills or attributes do you consider have contributed to your success in your current role?   

One of my most important skills is my visionary leadership. I have a clear vision of what I want to achieve with the Chief Data Officer & Information Quality (CDOIQ) Symposium now on its 17th year. We also have regional CDOIQ Symposium as follows: 

  • CDOIQ-LATAM in Brazil 

  • CDOIQ-APAC in Singapore 

  • CDOIQ-USA in Boston, MA 

  • CDOIQ-Europe in Switzerland 

  • CDOIQ-Nordic in Finland 

I can communicate my vision effectively to my team and inspire and motivate them to work towards achieving it. Another key attribute that I possess is strategic thinking. I am able to see the big picture and think long-term, anticipating potential challenges and opportunities and developing strategies to address them. I am also able to adapt to changing circumstances and make necessary adjustments to stay on course. My effective communication skills have also been crucial to my success. I can build strong relationships with my team, clients and stakeholders through clear and articulate communication. I can provide guidance and feedback to my team and clearly articulate my vision and goals to stakeholders.   


Finally, my mission-vision is to establish a CDO role in every organization with budget, authority and resources. 


What level of data maturity do you typically encounter across your client base and what tends to hold this back?   

In general, most of them are at different levels of data maturity. Some may be in the early stages of data collection and management, while others may have well-established data governance frameworks and advanced analytics capabilities.

However, it is not uncommon for organizations to have varying levels of data maturity across different departments or business units. Some common factors that can hold back data maturity include a lack of clear data governance policies, inadequate data infrastructure, insufficient data literacy and skills among employees and resistance to change and adoption of new technologies and practices. Other factors that can impact data maturity levels include a lack of leadership support or investment in data initiatives, poor data quality and siloed data within different systems and departments.    


What trends are you seeing in terms of the data and analytics resources your clients are demanding from you?

While somewhat separately developed, the terms ’data fabric’ and ’data mesh’ are occasionally used interchangeably or the focus of conversations about concepts that conflict with one another. An emerging technological pattern that employs metadata to automate data administration tasks is the main force behind the ’data fabric’ data management design, which is a dynamic data management architecture. 

What challenges do you see for data in the year ahead that will have an impact on your clients and on the industry as a whole?    

The rapidly increasing speed and volume of data being generated and collected, the limited diversity of that data as well as the need for more accurate and reliable data will be the main challenges for organizations dealing with data this year. 


How are you tackling the challenge of attracting, nurturing and retaining talent?  

My way to attract great talent is by providing a strong organizational culture and opportunities for them to grow. Retaining them involves creating an environment where they feel valued and engaged. With that, I am able to build a strong and loyal team that is motivated to contribute to the success of the organization. 

Overall, attracting, nurturing and retaining talent requires a comprehensive and ongoing approach that prioritizes the well-being and growth of employees.  

Richard Wang
Richard Wang
has been included in:
  • 100 Brands 2022 (USA)
  • 100 Influencers 2023 (USA)