Benchmarking Pay Data for Key Technology Executives

February 7, 2019 Scott Allen

Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, data analytics and data science are becoming commonly used forms of technology in the corporate world — generating revenue and impacting the bottom line for companies across industries as well as impacting us as consumers in our daily lives. All of this leads to inevitable concerns about data privacy and security.

Amidst this backdrop, the roles of Chief Analytics Officer and Chief Data Officer have emerged as key roles at today’s leading organizations. And although both roles been around for more than a decade, they’ve grown in prominence over the past few years as data and technology have become increasingly important to business strategy. As companies aim to build better solutions, solve tougher problems and serve their constituents better, these executive roles are key to this evolution as they ensure organizations are able to maximize their use of data and analytics.

In this article, we’ll break down pay trends we’re seeing for these emerging roles using Aon’s Total Compensation Measurement™ (TCM™) database.

First, let’s set a baseline for how we define these roles:

A Chief Data Officer is the top executive responsible for overseeing the design, development and operation of the global technology architecture and infrastructure for the organizing, storage, retrieval, processing and analysis of data and information for internal and external clients. 

A Chief Analytics Officer is the person responsible for enterprise-wide governance and utilization of information as a strategic asset through the use of an organization’s data platforms, analytics and data mining tools and collaboration with customers, stakeholders and partners.

Breakdown of Compensation Data

As we look at total compensation, overall, pay for the two roles is very similar with the median base salary for the Chief Data Officer at $300,000 and the Chief Analytics Officer at $292,755.

All of the jobs that match up to the roles in the TCM™ survey are incentive eligible with a median target opportunity of 40% of salary. The median long-term incentives (LTI) received is $160,014 and $158,361 for Chief Data Officer and Chief Analytics Officer, respectively, with the median LTI award of 55% of base salary for both roles.

Figures 1 and 2 below show target total compensation for both roles.

The following chart shows the average mix of pay for both roles, which includes:

  • Base Salary
  • Target Annual Incentive
  • Long-term Incentive

For both roles, just over half of the target total compensation comprises base salary (52% for the Chief Data Officer and 51% for the Chief Analytics Officer). Annual incentives make up approximately 20% of total compensation for both roles while LTI is 28% of the pay mix as shown in Figure 3.

Long-Term Incentive Prevalence

While the portion of LTI in the pay mix is the same among both job roles, the way that LTI is delivered between both jobs is different. For the Chief Data Officer, 89% of the incumbents receive restricted stock and 58% receive performance LTI. On the contrary, for the Chief Analytics Officer, 68% receive performance LTI and 47% receive restricted stock. Stock options are the least prevalent among both jobs.

Figure 4 below represents the average long-term incentive prevalence for the both the roles.

What That Means for You

Just 10 years ago these roles were rarely heard of, but today they have become instrumental in driving big data initiatives. Benchmarking pay for these in-demand and important roles can give your organization a competitive advantage.

We used Aon’s Total Compensation Measurement™ Survey to conduct this analysis, and you can too. Participants in TCM™ get access to more detailed analysis, including year-over-year change in pay by individual role. If you have any questions for our executive compensation experts or would like to participate in the TCM™ Survey, please contact us now.

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