People skills are important than technical expertise for CDOs, according to the latest Gartner CDO survey, released in July.

However, organizational data literacy can stand in the way of success.

More from the survey:

• Effective communication is critical. For the vast majority of survey participants, communication, collaboration and creativity are the most crucial leadership competencies for the success of the CDO. Those with the most influence have the most impact.

• People skills trump technical expertise. All of the most important competencies for effective D&A leaders are people-oriented. That includes leadership — not management — skills.

• Data literacy remains a problem. Poor data literacy, lack of a data-driven culture and talent shortages are prevalent and persistent inhibitors to the success of D&A

How CDOs succeed

• Improve your own personal effectiveness. Build the skills and competencies (maybe via executive coaching) needed to communicate influence and engage stakeholders.

• Develop your team. Assess the skills, competencies and behaviors of your teams to ensure they’re fit for purpose and have the right mix of data and leadership skills.

• Emulate high-achieving peers to build a data-literate, data-driven organization. Gartner expects that by 2023, data literacy will become an explicit and necessary driver of business value, demonstrated by its formal inclusion in over 80% of D&A strategies and change management programs.