Who is Responsible for Turning Data into Decisions?

By September 8, 2015Technology
Data

The CIO is responsible for gathering the data; but who is actually managing and making sense of it? Say “hello” to the data aggregator.

When companies first realized the potential benefits of Big Data, they all clamored to grab as much information as possible. But too much of a good thing is often, well, not a good thing. Companies found themselves drowning in data, most of which was not particularly useful.IT would gather that data and then, ultimately it became the responsibility of stakeholders, from Marketing to Finance to Procurement, and others to make sense of it all. That just wasn’t working and companies started to search for that person who could harness that data and leverage it across the enterprise. That has led to the very valuable position of data aggregator which has become, for many companies the CDO (Chief Data Officer).

Recently, Experion released a Data Quality study, The Chief Data Officer: Bridging the gap between data and decision making. The study, of more than 250 CIOs across the U.S. was prompted by the increase in companies appointing CDOs (Chief Data Officers). The CIOs surveyed clearly perceived the need for improvement in their companies’ use of data. A full 83% feel that data “is a valuable asset that is not being fully utilized within their organization,” and 64% think that the company is not optimizing the data gathered to move the company forward. When it comes to the issue of data quality, 48% said that resolving data quality issues is an ongoing challenge. Another major challenge that CIOs face is finding stakeholders willing to take charge of managing the data that’s turned over to them. Combine all of these factors with the reality that the volume of data will increase exponentially and that requires exercising even greater control over the quality of that data, and you can see why finding the right person to manage all of this data will be vital to a company’s success. That’s why the Experion study found that 63% of organizations that currently do not have a CDO would like to see that position created and filled in the future.

When looking at the main reasons given for wanting someone to fill this important role, you can see that organizations really do grasp the tremendous value that data is as an asset and that they recognize the need to find an executive to manage it all.

  • 48% – Need a consistent approach to de-risk data-driven projects
  • 47% – Increasing costs due to poor quality data
  • 47% – Increased regulation/governance
  • 45% – Decentralized data management and reporting

The study indicates that creating this position in an enterprise would break down the barriers to data utilization, which includes stakeholders unwilling to go beyond their silos; to look at data that falls outside of the tiny slice of data they anticipate using. In addition, the creation of this role will signal to others in the organization that data should be regarded as a critical asset necessary for growth, and that it be given the respect it deserves. The study defines the goal of this role is to be “an evangelist for data within the business;” to help “dictate the governance, management, and security of information.”

Does your organization currently have a CDO or other senior management position to manage the data? If not, is this part of your company’s future plans?

Mike Rowbotham

About Mike Rowbotham

Mike Rowbotham is Vice President of Strategy & Innovation for AmeriQuest Business Services. He is responsible for establishing the company’s overall strategic direction, which includes identifying inorganic growth opportunities. He also drives organic growth through product innovation and market expansion. Previously, Mike developed leading-edge network and infrastructure systems of AmeriQuest and its subsidiary companies to successfully accommodate AmeriQuest’s high-growth strategy.

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