Chief Data Architect


A chief data architect sets the vision for the organisation’s use of data as directed by the appropriate governance body.

At this role level, you will:

  • oversee the design of multiple data models and have a broad understanding of how each model fulfils the needs of the business

  • be accountable for the definition of the organisation’s data strategy

  • champion data architecture across government

  • set the standards and ways of working for the data architecture community

  • provide advice to project teams and oversee the management of the full data product life cycle

  • be responsible for ensuring that the organisation’s systems are designed in accordance with the data architecture


Background Components

Description Background

Has a systematic, disciplined and analytical approach to problem solving with demonstrable verbal and written communications skills. Has a detailed knowledge of the appropriate corporate data standards and of the appropriate professional and/or legal data standards. Has a good knowledge of wide areas of information systems concepts and practices. Is able to plan, schedule and monitor work within set targets for small, dedicated teams.

Prior Knowledge and Skills

Work Activity Components

Title Details

Management and leadership

Takes overall responsibility for directing the operation of data management within the organisation and ensuring the provision of information that meets the business needs of the organisation.

Advice and guidance

Sets standards for data modelling and design tools and techniques, advises on their application, and ensures compliance.

Data requirements documentation

Manages the investigation of corporate data requirements, documenting them according to the required standards utilising the prescribed methods and tools.

Assurance of data structures and models

Manages the iteration, review and maintenance of data requirements and data models.

Corporate data policy

Contributes to the development and maintenance of the corporate data management policy within the organisation.

Development needs

Determines development needs for a professional practice area. Aligns development activities with organisational priorities, learning and development strategies and career pathways.

Communities of practice

Promotes the establishment and ongoing development of one or more community of practice (CoP). Encourages participation and ensures alignment with organisational needs.

Data architecture development

Leads development of data architectures for complex solutions, ensuring consistency with specified requirements agreed with both external and internal customers. Takes full responsibility for ensuring that data architectures balance functional and non-functional (e.g. service quality and systems management) requirements within a significant area of the organisation.

Evaluation and selection

Establishes policy and strategy for the selection of data architecture components and takes responsibility for the strategy and methods used in implementing a data architecture in a significant area of the organisation. Manages the organisation’s data strategies, policies, standards and practices, ensures that they are applied correctly, and promotes consistency.

Technical assurance

Takes responsibility for the technical integrity of data designs, ensuring for example that reusable elements are recognised, and that work is not unnecessarily duplicated. Ensures that all changes are managed effectively and contributes to formal reviews and evaluations when projects and programmes end.


Manages or coordinates the data architecture function within an organisation.


Knowledge/Skills Components

Title Depth Details Type

Analytical Thinking

Acquiring a proper understanding of a problem or situation by breaking it down systematically into its component parts and identifying the relationships between these parts. Selecting the appropriate method/tool to resolve the problem and reflecting critically on the result, so that what is learnt is identified and assimilated.

Behavioural Skills

Conceptual Thinking

Acquiring understanding and insights regarding the underlying issues in complex problems or situations through the development of abstract representations, the identification of patterns and the analysis of hypotheses.

Behavioural Skills

Interacting with People

Establishing relationships, contributing to an open culture and maintaining contacts with people from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Effective, approachable and sensitive communicator in different communities and cultures. Ability to adapt style and approach to meet the needs of different audiences.

Behavioural Skills

Influence, Persuasion and Personal Impact

Conveying a level of confidence and professionalism when engaging with stakeholders, influencing positively and persuading others to take a specific course of action when not in a position of authority.

Behavioural Skills


Working collaboratively with others to achieve a common goal.


Application Systems

Proficient in

Technical or functional understanding of Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) applications and/or other bespoke software deployed within the organisation in order to provide system configuration, audit, technical, and/or functional support.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Database Software

Proficient in

Software that enables the user to capture, create, populate and manipulate data structures and where appropriate unstructured data.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Information Modelling Tools

Proficient in

Using tools (manual or automated) to record the structure, relationships and use of information within an organisation.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Business Environment

Proficient in

The business environment relating to own sphere of work (own organisation and/or closely associated organisations, such as customers, suppliers, partners and competitors), in particular those aspects of the business that the specialism is to support (i.e. localised organisational awareness from a technical perspective).

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Database Architecture

Expert in

Different types of database architecture and the products that use each type.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Database Modelling and Design Tools

Proficient in

Tools and techniques that assist in creating a logical entity model and/ or generating a physical database.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Big Data

Familiar with

The discipline associated with data sets so large and/or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. The data files may include structured, unstructured and/or semi-structured data, such as unstructured text, audio, video, etc. Challenges include analysis, capture, curation, search, sharing, storage, transfer, manipulation, analysis, visualization and information privacy.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Data Handling

Expert in

The ability to harvest, clean, curate, manage, process and manipulate data in a variety of formats.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Information Elicitation Techniques

Proficient in

The selection and application of information elicitation methods, tools and techniques that are appropriate to the information required and the sources available.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Function or Department Operations

Proficient in

The activities, structure, and position in the organisation of the functions or departments for which services are provided.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Techniques for Effective Meetings

Familiar with

Methods and techniques for running effective meetings and for understanding and influencing the roles played by participants.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Coaching Techniques

Proficient in

Methods and techniques for coaching individuals or groups by a balanced combination of support and direction, including use of virtual learning environments plus add-ons to augment feedback specific to work items, workflow or career plans.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Project Planning and Control Techniques

Familiar with

Methods and techniques associated with planning and monitoring progress of projects.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Training Activities

Training Components

Title Details

Strategic Planning for Information and Communications Systems

The process of defining the ICT strategic plan of an organisation in a methodical way based on business aims and objectives thereby enabling the specification of options and associated action plans for the use of IT-enabled business processes.


Concepts, methods and techniques for providing coaching in subject specialisms to individuals or groups (e.g. GROW model).

Advanced Techniques for Business Process Improvement

More complex tools and techniques associated with the analysis, modelling and streamlining of business processes.

Human Resource Planning

Techniques and practices involved in planning the numbers and types of personnel needed over time by a particular skillset, department or function within an organisation.


Methods and techniques for providing mentoring support to less experienced individuals.

Security Awareness

Tools and techniques to help users and employees understand the role they play in helping to combat information security breaches and for IT and security professionals to prevent and mitigate risk.

Solution Architecture

Methods, tools and techniques for architecture design and development to provide an understanding of the critical architecture terms and concepts and how to apply them across typical architecture domains — business, applications, data and infrastructure.


PDA Components

Title Details


Standing in for supervisor or manager on a temporary basis during periods of absence.

Job Shadowing and Special Assignments

Undertaking temporary periods or secondments in other roles, inside or outside IT, particularly those that offer a new perspective on own function or exposure to other environments and cultures.

Project Assignments

Participating in a project team, working group or task force established to deliver a solution to a specific problem or issue – especially valuable if the group is inter-disciplinary.


Acting as a mentor, advising those for whom there is no direct responsibility, on matters to do with their job role, career and professional development.

Research Assignments

Exploring a topic which is not part of own normal responsibilities and presenting findings to colleagues and/or management

Gaining Knowledge of Broader IT Issues

Increasing and maintaining currency of knowledge of broader IT issues through reading, attending and participating in seminars or conferences, special studies, temporary assignments etc.

Gaining Strategic Knowledge of Employing Organisation

Developing a comprehensive understanding of the business environment in which the employing organisation operates and its position, policies and direction in relation to industry, country and global issues.

Participation in Professional Body Affairs

Taking an active part in professional body affairs at branch, specialist group, committee or board level.

Negotiating and Influencing

Undertaking learning and practice of negotiating with and influencing others.

Management Development

Undertaking learning and best practice of the skills appropriate to managing all or part of an organisation, including business and financial management, benefits management, people management, management of change and strategic planning. This will require both on and off the job learning and may include participation in an appropriate development programme such as MBA or DMS (Diploma in Management Studies).


Qualification Components

Title Awarding Body

Chartered IT Professional (CITP)

BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT

Certified Data Management Professional – Master


FEDIP Leading Practitioner


Organisation Skills

Framework » Organisation
Category » Subcategory
Skill Name and Description Level

DDaT » Architecture

Architecture – Communicating between the technical and non-technical

You can listen to the needs of technical and business stakeholders, and interpret them effectively manage stakeholder. You can expectations manage active and reactive communication support or host difficult discussions within the team or with diverse senior stakeholders.

4 – Practitioner

You can listen to the needs of technical and business stakeholders, and interpret them and effectively manage stakeholder expectations. You can manage active and reactive communication and support or host difficult discussions within the team or with diverse senior stakeholders.

DDaT » Architecture

Architecture – Communicating data

You can use the most appropriate medium to visualise data to tell compelling stories that are relevant to business goals and can be acted upon. You can present, communicate and disseminate data effectively, appropriately and with high impact.

3 – Practitioner

You can turn complex data into clear, simple and actionable stories. You can share data communication skills with the team and across government.

DDaT » Architecture

Architecture – Data analysis and synthesis

You can translate data into valuable insights that inform decisions. You can effectively involve teams in analytics and synthesis to increase consensus and challenge assumptions. You can identify and use the most appropriate analytical techniques, and you have an understanding of analytical tools. You can demonstrate numeracy. You can show an awareness of advances in digital analytics tools and data manipulation products, and can keep up to date with them. You can collect, collate, cleanse, synthesise and interpret data to derive meaningful and

2 – Working

You can undertake data profiling and source system analysis. You can present clear insights to colleagues to support the end use of the data.

DDaT » Architecture

Architecture – Data governance

You can understand data governance and how it works in relation to other organisational governance structures. You can participate in or deliver the assurance of a service.

4 – Expert

You can ensure data governance supports changes to the organisational strategy. You can align data governance with wider governance (for example, budget). You can assure corporate services by understanding important risks and providing mitigation through assurance

DDaT » Architecture

Architecture – Data innovation

You can recognise and exploit business opportunities to ensure more efficient and effective performance of organisations. You can explore new ways of conducting business and organisational processes.

3 – Practitioner

You can identify areas of innovation in data tools and techniques and recognise appropriate timing for adoption.

DDaT » Architecture

Architecture – Data modelling

You can produce data models and understand where to use different types. You can understand different tools and compare different data models. You can reverse engineer a data model from a live system. You can understand industry-recognised data modelling patterns and standards.

4 – Expert

You can understand the concepts and principles of data modelling and can produce relevant data models. You can work across government and industry, recognising opportunities for the reuse and alignment of data models in different organisations. You can design the method to categorise data models within an organisation.

DDaT » Architecture

Architecture – Data standards

You can develop and set data standards for an organisation. You can communicate the business benefit of data standards, and champion and govern those standards across the organisation.

4 – Expert

You can develop and set data standards for an organisation. You can communicate the business benefit of data standards, championing and governing them across the organisation. You can understand where standards need to be set across an organisation, and how to set the standards within an organisation in the wider

DDaT » Architecture

Architecture – Metadata management

You can understand a variety of metadata management tools. You can design and maintain the appropriate metadata repositories to enable the organisation to understand its data assets.

4 – Expert

You can understand how metadata repositories can support different areas of the business. You can promote and communicate the value of metadata repositories. You can set up robust governance processes to keep repositories up to date.

DDaT » Architecture

Architecture – Problem resolution (data)

You can log, analyse and manage problems to identify and implement the appropriate solution. You can ensure that the problem is fixed.

4 – Expert

You can anticipate problems and know how to prevent them. You can understand how problems fit into the bigger picture. You can identify and describe problems, and help others to describe them. You can build problem-solving capabilities in others.

DDaT » Architecture

Architecture – Strategic thinking

You can define strategies and policies, providing guidance to others on working in the strategic context and evaluate current strategies to ensure business requirements are being met and exceeded where possible.

4 – Practitioner

You can define strategies and policies, providing guidance to others on working in the strategic context and evaluate current strategies to ensure business requirements are being met and exceeded where possible

DDaT » Architecture

Architecture – Turning business problems into data design

You can work with business and technology stakeholders to translate business problems into data designs. You can create optimal designs through iterative processes, aligning the system requirements and organisational objectives with the user needs.

4 – Expert

You can design data architecture by dealing with problems that span the enterprise. You can work across all organisational subject areas.

This job role profile was created in collaboration with BCS, using Role Model Plus. BCS is the professional body that has the responsibility of updating this job family.

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