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3 paths to analytics leadership roles

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In the past couple of years, organizations in all kinds of industries have created hundreds of new executive roles in analytics. Employers are on the hunt for leaders who not only understand the massive amounts of data at their disposal, but also are able to identify the threats and opportunities that arise as the analytics landscape evolves.

According to research firm Gartner, the role of chief data officer (CDO) is new to most organizations — more than 80 percent added the role in the last two years, and 60 percent of current CDO positions were created in 2015. So who are the people who have taken charge of analytics initiatives, and how did their professional experiences lead them to their new roles?

To find out, we studied the career trajectories of 38 analytics executives who were appointed in the past two years and featured in the Boardroom Insiders database. With titles such as chief data officer, head of global analytics, vice president for big data and senior vice president for insights and analytics, the group included males and females of various age groups and experiences spanning multiple industries.

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