Developing a data-driven information economy has forced enterprises to expand the role of chiefs. Chiefs represent information and data, and must identify the corporate leadership skills needed in the digital age. The information economy has led to too many technical “chiefs” representing information and too much bureaucracy in IT, where business analysts serve as supporting functions. Proposing a new position for the CDO will not solve the fundamental problems of data and information.
The chief is the lowest level of government in sub-Saharan Africa. They have the power to control taxes, regulate the judicial system, and allocate the country’s most important resource: land. Although some consider chiefs to hinder rural development, survey evidence suggests that they enjoy widespread support from local communities. In Sierra Leone, chiefs must come from a recognized ruling family. In chiefdoms with fewer ruling families, chiefs face fewer political and development competition.