The SEC is hiring a chief data officer as the regulator aims to keep pace with Wall Street’s obsession over information

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission is hiring its first chief data officer, according to a job posting for the role. 
  • The CDO's focus will include developing and managing the regulators' strategy around how it stores, protects, and uses data. 
  • Data has become increasingly valuable to firms across Wall Street.
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Wall Street's top rule maker wants some help with its data.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is in the process of hiring a chief data officer focused on overseeing the regulator's data needs. 

The responsibilities of the role, which was posted to and on LinkedIn from late August to early September, include "providing overall direction and oversight to a broad set of functions that support the SEC's data and information needs," according to the posting. 

Read more: The SEC's markets guru just praised brokers for slashing commissions — but warned they still need to do what's best for investors, despite increased pressure to defend margins

Data has become increasingly valuable to firms across Wall Street. From developing trade ideas to streamlining how things are done internally, financial firms have fully recognized the importance of harnessing massive amounts of information

The rise of artificial intelligence- and machine learning-based tools, which require large amounts of data to operate, has also put a premium on gathering as much information as possible. 

Whether it's a matter of protecting the data, figuring out the best way to use it, or developing ways to distribute it to the public, the SEC's CDO has a wide berth of responsibilities. 

The SEC is also in line to receive a mountain of data upon the completion of the consolidated audit trail, which will collect trading data across the various US stock and options exchanges. While the SEC's CDO won't be entirely responsible for the CAT, which has continued to face delays, he or she will help to develop a strategy around managing the data. 

See more: BlackRock's global head of active equities data has left the $6.9 trillion asset manager

Under the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act that was passed into law in January, all federal agencies are required to hire a CDO. The law also requires government data sets, with some exceptions, to be made widely available in machine-readable format, with the CDO leading those efforts. 

The CDO position, which has an expected salary between $189,931 and $251,765 and is for a four-year term, would sit within the SEC's office of the chief operating officer, the post said.

In testimony from the SEC before the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services in September, the regulator alluded to the role the position will play within the organization. 

"We will continue efforts to assess our data footprint, with the help of a soon-to-be-hired Chief Data Officer," the testimony read. "This new position, among other duties, will help us improve our review process over data collection to provide greater assurance that we collect only the data we need to fulfill our mission and can effectively manage and secure."