Photographs of the Dipoli-building.

The Gathering of Nordic Data Leaders

The Job of Data Leader

According to research, analytically driven companies that leverage their data assets more effectively outperform their competitors. Achieving this requires power to drive business transformation and direct investments to data management—the role of the Chief Data Officer (CDO).

The CDO acts as a communicator and advisor, ensuring that an organization’s data is trustworthy and accessible. They are responsible for tasks such as developing enterprise-wide data strategy and promoting common data management rules and practices across business units. CDOs also develop new data-driven business models and analytics use cases, as they too need short-term successes to achive influence long-term foundational development.

”Chief Data Officers ensure that an organization’s data is trustworthy and accessible for different business purposes.”

According to the recent Gartner surveys, the most successful data and analytics leaders are outperforming their peers by focusing on creating business value, nurturing data and analytics talent, and changing culture. Gartner also notes that the gap between leaders and laggards is growing.

The History of Global Community

The Chief Data Officer and Information Quality (CDOIQ) Symposium has been gathering data leaders for two decades at MIT’s campus in the United States. The goal of the CDOIQ network is to support the exchange of experiences and professional development among data leaders, leveraging cross-industry international connections and peer expertise.

The event was founded by Dr. Richard Wang, a former MIT professor and Chief Data Officer of the U.S. Department of Defense, along with his research and business partners. It brings together some of the world’s most significant data leaders from organizations such as Cigna, GSK, Mastercard, the Pentagon, and so forth. The event is designed as a peer network of data leaders, by data leaders, and for data leaders.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MIT CDOIQ Symposium was transitioned to a virtual format. Due to TIVIA community’s DAMA Finland chapters initiative and with the help of DAMA Italy, the symposium increased significantly the number of registered participants, introduced a new international track that focused on speakers from outside of North America, and widened its reach to global audience. After pandemic restrictions eased, similar events began to be organized worldwide across all continents.

The Launch of the Nordic Community

On February 2025, the first-ever CDOIQ Nordic Symposium will take place at Aalto University in Espoo, Finland (Figure 1).  At the symposium, data leaders have a unique opportunity to learn from their peers, share knowledge for others, and network with data leaders across all industry sectors.

Photographs of the Dipoli-building.
Figure 1: The event will take place at the distinguished Dipoli building, situated at the heart of the campus, offering both prestige and convenience. 

The new Nordic symposium is a collaborative effort between the CDOIQ program and Aalto University Executive Education and Professional Development (Aalto EE), with a shared vision of establishing the premier data and analytics leadership event in the Nordics. The venue is easily accessible via the metro, ensuring a seamless experience for attendees. The event expects 200 in-person participants and 400 virtual attendees from all Nordic countries.

The Network of Community Partners

Alongside the CDOIQ Nordic Symposium, a network of community partners has been established to communicate the arrival of the global network to the Nordic region, promote best practices in data management, and advance the mission of data leaders—creating value from data for businesses and society (Figure 2).

CDOIQ Nordic Symposium Community Partners 2024
Figure 2: At May 2024, these five non-profit organizations have confirmed their partnerships with CDOIQ Nordic Symposium.

For example, the Finnish Information Processing Association (TIVIA ry) and its theme associations ICT Leaders Finland ry and DAMA Finland ry have already confirmed their partnerships. After all, they have been promoting data leadership theme as outlined by the CDOIQ program already for years in their local events and publications. MyData Global, an award-winning international association brings in data activists who aim for a more fair, sustainable, and prosperous digital society for all. The Norwegian Artificial Intelligence Research Consortium connects the event with numerous universities, research institutes and companies working with AI. A growing network of Community Partners are an essential part of the event, because through them, the event gets wider publicity across industries and the region’s most prominent experts as both presenters and participants.

The Sponsorship Opportunity for Thought Leaders

For sponsors, the CDOIQ Nordic Symposium and its on-going Data Leadership Community Campaign with the non-profit associations will provide wide and long-term exposure through digital channels and onsite events across the Nordic region. For example, the event sessions will be turned into post-conference lessons learned blog posts by researchers and then distributed by community partners to their contacts, capturing the attention of tens of thousands of data professionals around the Nordic region.

This collaborative approach ensures that sponsors will gain visibility among data leaders attending the Symposium and also benefits from extensive indirect publicity through community events, articles, that will be running during the year before and after the actual event. This community campaign provides sponsors many opportunities to contribute to such side-events and topical pre- and post-symposium content while being seen as a thought leader of the strategic data leadership and supporter of data leader’ professional communities.

Currently, for example Workday and Cloud1 have already committed to sponsorship (figure 2), and several other companies have confirmed their interests to sponsor event and we are excited about the prospect of having other esteemed companies to join the Nordic CDOIQ movement. Contact the organizers of the symposium to hear more about the sponsorship options and benefits.

Figure 1: At May 2024, these two companies have confirmed their sponsorships with CDOIQ Nordic Symposium.

The Registration to the Symposium

The CDOIQ Nordic Symposium will be an exceptional opportunity for data leaders to learn from their peers, improve their careers and support their employers for three reasons.

Networking: The CDOIQ is a global community of data leaders, for data leaders, by data leaders born out of the MIT research and industry programs.

Knowledge: In the CDOIQ events, data leaders share their experiences, lessons learned, and cutting-edge ideas around the globe.

Impact: The CDOIQ mission is to strengthen the role of CDO, improve data leaders career progress, and help organizations gain more value from their data.

Registration for the symposium is open – the link to the registration is here!

We recommend everyone to promote the new CDOIQ Nordic Symposium for all data and digitalization leaders and strategists – regardless of their titles. Next year, they can experience an exceptionally high-level program and get a unique honour to be one of the founding participants establishing a new peer community of data leaders to the Nordic region.


Sami Laineen kuvaAuthor: Sami Laine is a Senior Advisor at Aalto EE, where he is currently spearheading the mission to bring the world-renowned CDOIQ Symposium to the Nordics in 2025. During his over 20 years career, he has worked in data management practitioner, consultant, researcher, and teacher roles in several business sectors. Throughout his career, Sami has been an active advocate for promoting quality and ethical perspectives in data management and business decision-making, as recognized by his nomination for the DAIR Awards in 2022. He has been a long-time president and board member of the DAMA Finland ry and a program committee member of the MIT CDOIQ Symposium.

Additional background information about CDOIQ community and TIVIA