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the rise of the chief parking data officer

The Rise of the Chief Parking Data Officer

This article is the first in our series “The Rise of the Chief Parking Data Officer” profiling parking industry innovators with the vision, strategy, and leadership to create connectivity within their organizations using data. Want to be profiled? Send us an email.

Phones, homes, buildings, and cars have been referred to as “smart” now for decades – and today, we’ve well entered the era of the smart parking facility.

A smart parking facility can be identified by its web of connected technologies for centralized operations and top-notch customer experience.

It’s an ecosystem powered by integrations with PARCS, QR code payment processors, online reservations platforms, sensors, LPR, and other emerging technologies for frictionless transactions, access, wayfinding, and enforcement.

So, who in a parking organization sits at the hub of all of these revolving spokes?


Enter the Chief Parking Data Officer.

The “Chief Parking Data Officer” is not so much a formal role as it is a designation for any innovator within their organization that embodies its distinct characteristics.

Regardless of official title or flight level, you are the Chief Parking Data Officer in your organization if you’re the person with the vision, strategy, and leadership to create connectivity and make data actionable.

And in the same way that the technologies powering smart parking facilities show zero indication of being short-lived, the CPDO persona is becoming more influential – and indispensable – in our industry every day.


Who is the Chief Parking Data Officer, and what do they do?

The Chief Parking Data Officer (or CPDO, for short) understands how to create connectivity and why communication bridges are critical to increasing the business’s bottom line.

In the most literal sense: this person drives the strategy for utilizing APIs and integrations to centralize data to make it digestible and actionable.

As an example – the CPDO would evaluate and integrate technology for collecting real-time occupancy data, and then determine the means through which this data is served up to their Operations team so they can better allocate resources in their facilities.

But the function of “creating connectivity” extends beyond the tactical application of integrations between disparate data sources. It’s also very much about having the unique influence and ability to work across different leadership teams.

The CPDO has the knowledge and skillset to educate and create consensus among leadership on how data and technology can be used to identify opportunities and solve problems.


Some of the initiatives that a CPDO might drive include:

  • Decoupling data and making it actionable for functions within the organization
  • Leading the strategy behind what data to collect and how to use it
  • Fostering executive alignment around data initiatives
  • Vetting technology partners and managing those relationships
  • Being part of the build, buy, or partner conversation


As another example, consider the role of the CPDO in the return to work.

With the number of companies searching for office space jumping 20% in March 2022 after a five-month stagnation period, commuters will soon be parking at the office again.

The CPDO may drive the critical initiative of adding technology for drive-up QR code payments that provide a better experience for commuters with parking patterns that are less predictable than they were prior to the pandemic.

This addition to the tech stack not only collects occupancy and transaction data but also boosts customer retention. It’s also a major selling point for operators looking to partner with asset owners on tenant engagement initiatives.


At Ocra, many of our partners embody this role.

They, too, believe that a rising tide of information lifts all ships, and that data should be de-siloed and made useful for every function within an organization.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing a series of features on the CPDOs who are creating connectivity and carving new grooves for the flow of data within our industry.

You’ll see some familiar faces and a few new ones, too.

If you want to get these profiles straight to your inbox every week, sign up here.

Do you or someone you know fit the profile of Chief Parking Data Officer? Shoot Sarah an email at sarah@getocra.com – she’s excited to chat.

Sarah Becherer

Sarah is the Vice President of Growth at Ocra. Her aim is to help people and businesses operate to their full potential through meaningful content powered by by creativity, empathy, and shared experience. Her non-parking interests include making pasta, exchanging postcards, studying French, accumulating tattoos, and exploring unfamiliar places.

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