George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

Chief Data Officer Curriculum

To significantly expand your network and share best practices, most business focused C-Suite sessions are delivered in-person jointly with Chief Risk Officer and Chief Learning Officer program participants. Data specific sessions are delivered online within the Chief Data Officer program cohort. Additional short topics and a panel discussion are also included as the schedule allows.

Program Topics Include:

  1. Advanced Data Management (Online, CDO Cohort Session)

    Gain an overview of available data management technologies to help identify specific data management scenarios and use cases in your organization. Explore ways to improve existing architectures in an effort to improve the data value chain. Highlights current data management challenges, discusses respective technologies and trends, and highlights their strengths and limitations with respect to concrete use cases.

  2. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (Online, CDO Cohort Session)

    Expand your skill-set with the latest advances in the fields of machine learning and data analytics. Explore ways to extract value from all data available and understand the basic concepts and models of big data mining. Explore ways to use those skills to transform the data into knowledge and the knowledge into value.

  3. Business Acumen and Communication (In-Person, Joint Session)

    Strengthen business acumen by understanding proven strategies and best practices for gaining the support of the C-Suite. An introduction to the principles and practices of business acumen; what separates those C-Suite executives who excel at business acumen; and how to successfully engage with the C-Suite by applying the principles to everyday conversations and interactions.

  4. Business Models for the CDO (Online, CDO Cohort Session)

    Examine the way data changes existing business models and demonstrate techniques on how to build data-driven business models. Identify and move the data-driven environment of your organization towards business opportunities with focus on the data-intensive business model of your organization.

  5. Data Protection and Privacy (In-Person, CDO Cohort Session)

    Achieving privacy in a digital world is a rather challenging problem, privacy-preserving solutions are harder to construct and, at the same time, are significantly more computationally intensive than privacy-intrusive ones. This session will describe practical tools and cryptographic protocols that protect data integrity and privacy as well as protocols that guarantee user/identity anonymity.  The session will provide an overview of basic cryptographic tools mechanisms such as data encryption tools, digital signatures and anonymous browsing, as well as cutting edge crypto protocols that are used for privacy such as Zero-knowledge proofs, computation on encrypted data, accumulators and anonymous user authentication. Finally, the privacy issues of distributed ledgers (blockchains) and how we can address them will be discussed.

  6. Data Strategy, Governance and Architecture (Online, CDO Cohort Session)

    This topic spans several key data management topics important for a CDO. It covers data strategy and its alignment to organizational business priorities, including multiple data management/maturity frameworks. The session also discusses data governance frameworks, including roles & responsibilities, and key functions. Finally, the session covers the importance of data architecture and how CDOs can leverage it to improve data privacy, data ethics, and secure access to high-quality data.

  7. Developing and Executing a Strategic Plan (In-Person, Joint Session)

    Gain an understanding of what is strategy. Identify links between organizations and types of strategy, resources and its link to strategy, environmental challenges and its links to strategy, and value creation with strategy. Once the strategy is created it is even more challenging to execute it and a great deal of this idea will be discussed through the concepts of business models.

  8. Digital Storytelling (Online, CDO Cohort Session)

    Digital storytelling is a structured approach for communicating data insights and includes a combination of three key elements: data, visuals, and narrative. Visuals such as charts, graphs and maps help emphasize insights that emerge from data. A powerful narrative helps explains why a particular insight is important. When using the right visuals and narrative, we create a story that can influence and drive change. Data makes people think, emotions make them act. This module will cover data visualization and storytelling techniques in combination with case studies, such that each participant will be ready to present their project at the end of the program.

  9. Innovation (In-Person, Joint Session)

    Understand principles and best practices that underlie successful innovation. Learn how to apply these principles and practices to the most critical challenges facing your industry. Specifically, how to transform promising ideas into actionable innovations and gain the support of your organization.

  10. Relational Leadership (In-Person, Joint Session)

    Appreciate how leaders can improve by taking a relational view towards others in the organization. To lead is to speak directly to the workforce, to understand their concerns, pinch points, frustrations, etc. Taking a relational view goes beyond your relationship with each employee, it encompasses understanding each relationship that employees have. It is up to leaders to create an environment in which individuals go above and beyond, not just because of money or prestige, but because they have friends and colleagues that would do the same for them.

  11. Strategic Thinking, Value Proposition Models and Mission Fulfillment (In-Person, Joint Session)

    Provides analytical tools to focus on value creation in an organization through the concept of business models and its links to strategic management through the process of strategic thinking.

  12. The Being of a C-Suite Leader (In-Person, Joint Session)

    Build your capacity to engage in the successful practices of leadership as a member of the c-suite and throughout your career. The emphasis is on your way of being as a leader (the observer you are) and enhancing your capacity to declare commitments to future possibilities and engage others in sharing and fulfilling those commitments.  During the session we will discover the importance of context in confronting managerial challenges and creating opportunities and the role of leadership in shaping conversations that create empowering contexts for organizational actions.

  13. Transformation and Change Management (In-Person, Joint Session)

    Identify best practices that anticipate the need to change and build frameworks for steps to use in leading change. Understand resistance to change and how to overcome it, as well as the benefits of the changes your organization is going through.