Big Data and Analytics

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Big Data and Analytics: Putting CIOs in the driver’s seat
Thursday, September 22, 2016 3:32:29 PM

Changing business dynamics, over the past few decades, have compelled most of organizations to add new roles to their C-suite. CFO (Chief Financial Officer), CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), and CSO (Chief Strategy Officer) are some of them. In today’s time, the prevalence of Analytics and Big Data is significantly changing the business landscape, thereby creating the need for active participation from top management. Capitalizing on various data-based opportunities to enhance revenues, increase productivity, and at times, form completely new businesses creates the demand for a technical position in the C-suite. And here comes the need for the Chief Information Officer (CIO) position.   

At present, the Big Data and Analytics issue is on the top of almost all CIOs’ agenda. And considering ongoing changes in opportunities and challenges provided by Big Data and Analytics, they’re unlikely to fade into insignificance anytime soon. However, in the midst of all hype and hoopla around Big Data, Analytics, and Social Media, it is now important for CIOs to give a careful look at some fundamental questions—are all opportunities being completely seized? Are various risk factors being managed properly?

If you are unable to address these risk factors, they may lead to various legal consequences and reputational damage. On the other hand, if you fail to capitalize on opportunities, you may end up losing your competitive advantage. But if you make the most of Analytics and Big Data, you will be able to revolutionize the way you are doing business—turning everything right from the decision-making process to strategic planning to customer interaction data-driven.

How to navigate the complex legal system of Big Data

The potential of Big Data is now recognized by almost all CIOs. However, only a few of them have an in-depth understanding of regulatory and legal risks associated with it. Legal requirements vary from business to business. However, when it comes to Big Data, the major challenge is to safeguard personal details. And around the world, rising concerns about the safety issue are resulting in faster modifications in legislation. Given this, CIOs should work in tandem with their legal teams on various legislative changes.

The following steps help CIOs lessen various legal risks related to Big Data.

  • Include your organization’s lawyers in your Big Data team
  • Make sure that various risks associated with data are addressed from the center instead of silos
  • Ensure that your information data management system is effective so that you can manage your data efficiently
  • Employ good practices on data to enhance your relationship with your customers.

How to earn value from various unstructured data

Earning value from various unstructured data held by organizations is one of the biggest challenges to CIOs. Every day, an organization accumulates mammoth amounts of diverse as well as unstructured data from various sources, including social media posts, client mails, and so on. Interestingly, many companies are gaining valuable insights from these data. For instance, posts on social media are helping insurance firms find out several dishonest injury claimants.

So, now the question is how CIOs can deploy a successful approach to gain more insights from various unstructured data? We’re trying to find out some relevant points.

  • Your approach should strike a balance between intuitive and analytical
  • Explore new ideas to get value from various unstructured data
  • Create a cross-functional team; it will help you gain more insights from various perspectives
  • Use your customers’ data cautiously and with their full knowledge and consent

How to evaluate your preparedness for the data-driven environment

Studies show that successful CIOs have been able to transform their businesses by leveraging Big Data and Analytics. However, this success doesn’t come just by accumulating more and more data. It is also necessary for CIOs to assess their maturity level on analytics and data in order to find out various areas for improvement. 

Contemplate the following questions to get a better idea

  • What does your organization want from Analytics and Big Data and how do you want to achieve it?
  • Have you implemented any process to extract the value from data?
  • Do you have necessary skills set required for leveraging Big Data and Analytics?
  • Does your organization have a data-driven environment supported by top management?
  • What is your level of risk preparedness, especially with regards to various legal and cyber security issues?

How to maintain your organization’s relevance to social media

Organizations across the world are exploring various ways to leverage social media to improve their customer relationship and brand positioning. The role of technology cannot be ignored in social media campaigns. Similarly, the role of CIOs is significant too.

When it comes to social media campaigns, CIOs should focus on the following things:

  • Extracting value from various social media data
  • Helping business make technical choices
  • Familiarizing the entire business with the organization’s policies related to data governance
  • Addressing cyber security-related risks related to social media
  • Examining the compliance risk of an organization’s cloud campaigns

Indeed, Big Data and Analytics provide make-or-mar opportunities based on which, CIOs and their abilities are evaluated. No CIO can afford to ignore these two things. When CIOs don an active role in leveraging Big Data and Analytics, they can significantly transform their business for good, thereby adding strategic relevance and influence to their positions.

So, boarding a Big Data bus is not a big thing. What really matters is the ability to drive the bus with caution. What does managing the driver’s seat mean? If CIOs already have not, they should start accepting the fact that the revolution of Big Data is now a reality. Following the Great Recession, the whole industry has become more and more interconnected. New techniques are exploring patters and intricacies in data, which were unheard of earlier. For example, in the financial industry, Big Data is assisting the industry in foreseeing system as well as its relationship. However, the ability to forecast the upcoming financial crisis hinges on how the data is used and analyzed. This is where Big Data’s actual value lies. Therefore, Erik Brynjolfsson of MIT Center for Digital Business, aptly said that for years, organizations have depended on what he mentioned as "the corporate HiPPO -- the highest-paid person's opinion -- to be the official decision maker, but no more. We need to put them on a diet and turn our HiPPOs into geeks."