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The term “Data Leader” may be confused due to the absence of uniformity in roles and titles across the Data & Analytics sector. Many people with similar job titles carry out quite varied tasks, while others with different job titles perform the exact same tasks. This inconsistency makes it difficult for internal recruitment teams to identify the correct talent for D&A roles, as they rely on keywords and key phrases without fully understanding the major differences between roles.  

For example, when a company needs to fill a Data Engineering role, the talent team might struggle because titles such as Data Engineer, Big Data Engineer, Cloud Data Engineer, BI Developer, BI Engineer, Software Engineer, and Analytics Engineer can often refer to the same job but represent different roles across companies.  

Within Data Leadership, titles like Head of, Director, VP, and CDO/CDAO/CAIO are common, but they encompass individuals from diverse backgrounds and skill sets. Data leaders can originate from various areas, such as business, technical fields, or other parts of the D&A ecosystem, including governance, business intelligence, engineering, architecture, analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Despite sharing the title “Data Leader,” individuals may possess vastly different skill sets and experiences, making it challenging for non-D&A professionals to discern these differences.  

When business leaders try to hire Data Leaders, they often find it hard to clearly define the necessary requirements. The term “Data Leader” is vague, leading to a wide range of skills being needed depending on the specific organisational context, size, scale, and maturity.  

This brings up questions about whether we need more specific titles for Data Leaders. Sometimes, companies need highly technical leaders. Other times, they need someone with extensive experience across all areas of Data & Analytics. Some leaders should focus on insights and taking action, while others should concentrate on managing data. Clearer and more specific titles for Data Leaders could help organisations find the right person for their needs.  

All this raises the question of whether creating more specific job titles within Data Leadership could help organisations better identify and recruit individuals with the necessary skills and expertise for specific situations. What do you think? 

About the Author

Sophie Muscat

Head of Marketing

Sophie is our Head of Marketing. She has a wealth of experience in marketing and communications, having driven strategic initiatives and managed direct communications.

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