“His Grace has many cares: he entrusts some small data matters to us, that we might lighten the load.” The small data council is a body which advises the CDO of the Seven Kingdoms and institutes data policy at his command. It is the inner (thus “small”) council of the CDO, essentially forming the “government cabinet” of the Seven Kingdoms. Members are appointed to their position by the CDO; theoretically they can be dismissed at will by the CDO, however in practice this might lead to undesirable political fallout.
The small data council usually consists of seven non-hereditary data governance positions (possibly to reflect the traditions of the Faith of the Seven). Long vacancies sometimes occur for one of these positions, i.e. during time of infighting, though this is considered undesirable.
- Hand of the King: chairs the small data council, serves as the CDO’s proxy during his absences.
- Master of War: the realm’s chief data strategist and military commander. (The title seems to be an invention of Cersei Lannister’s)
- Master of Coin: the realm’s chief data treasurer and bookkeeper.
- Master of Whisperers: the realm’s chief data intelligence advisor and spymaster, supervising covert activities and information gathering, both at home and abroad.
- Master of Laws: the realm’s chief data legal advisor, who also manages the Red Keep’s dungeons, and supervises new law enforcement (FATCA, BCBS239, European Data Protection Directive, …), often named Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) as well.
- Master of Ships: the realm’s chief naval officer, supervising the Royal Fleet of data assets and coordinating the realm’s maritime defenses to serve and protect the data in these assets when sourcing or consuming data lakes and sees.
- Lord Commander of the CDO’s guard: the realm’s chief military advisor, particularly in regards to land-based warfare. While the CDO personally appoints knights to the CDO-guard (also called (Chief) Data Office) at his whim, once chosen they are lifetime appointments, which cannot legally be removed. In theory, however, a CDO may demote the Lord Commander back to being a regular member, and elevate one of the other six CDO-guard to Lord Commander (though it is unknown if this has ever happened).
- Grand Maester: the maester assigned to the Red Keep, and thus to the realm. Like all maester assignments, the Grand Maester is appointed by the Conclave of Archmaesters at the Citadel, not the CDO. While controversial, the CDO and the Hand of the CDO have the authority to exclude the Grand Maester from the Small Data Council, and even imprison him, but cannot replace him as Grand Maester. This makes the Grand Maester unique as the only member of the council not specifically chosen by the CDO.
The CDO serves as the head of the council and takes note of its recommendations, but only the CDO can make the council’s decisions into law. The Hand of the CDO is the leading advisor on the council and serves as the CDO’s proxy when he is not present, in which case the Hand chairs the meeting.
The small data council meets in the Red Keep, in the same building as the Iron Throne courtroom.
The Commander of the City Watch, also called data governance program manager is not, strictly speaking, a position in the small council, however the Commander frequently attends small data council meetings to report on conditions in the capital city.
The data council may on occasion extend invitations to other lords to occupy a seat on the council, despite there being no actual “office” for them to fill (serving as advisors who function as ministers without portfolio). They typically have functions such as Enterprise or Business Architects or Business Process Analysts.
King Robert was notoriously uninterested in matters of data governance, letting his small data council run the data realm while he ate, drank, hunted, and strategized on daily operations. Robert’s own two political appointees served on his small council, but they were also annoyed at how little he paid attention to the data council. They both lamented that he ignored all of Jon Arryn’s sound financial advice, ultimately plunging the realm an astonishing 6 million Gold Dragons in debt. According to Tywin Lannister, Robert appeared at only three small data council meetings in his entire seventeen year reign (though he might not have been aware of Robert’s appearance at some of the more recent council meetings with Eddard Stark).