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November 30, 2015

C-suite step in as big data value is recognised

Analysis: Strategic value of data is slowly being recognised by businesses.

By James Nunns

The big data market is maturing with companies more frequently treating their data as a strategic asset.

Not only are companies paying more respect to their data, but they are also using it more intelligently as they move away from quantity over quality.

The Economist Intelligence Unit found in a big data survey that in 2011 39% had seen data become an important tool that drives strategic decisions – in 2015 that percentage has risen to 44%.

14% of respondents have seen data completely change the way they do business in 2015 compared to 9% in 2011.

The rise in perceived value of data has seen a rise in strategic data managers, which the survey classifies as companies that have a well-defined data-management strategy. In 2011 18% were considered strategic data managers, compared to 33% in 2015.

A decline in data collectors; companies that collect large amounts of data but do not maximise its value, has also been seen, from 28% in 2011 to 20% in 2015.

These changes have seen the management of a data strategy shift more to the CIO; it has also resulted in the creation of the chief data officer role, highlighting the significance of data value.

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In 2011, 23% of respondents said the CIO is primarily responsible for all data initiatives, this is now 39% in 2015.

The elevation of the importance of data is also seeing the CEO and CFO become more involved in decision making.

Research from Kable Global ICT Intelligence found that CFOs and CEOs dedicate 6% of their time to typical decision making, however, this increases to 14.6% for big data and analysis decision making, only matched by network and security at 14.2%.

These findings highlight how valuable data decisions are within organisation, and the fact that it is potentially heightened by the impact of events such as data breaches; the cost of deploying big data technologies and regulatory fears.

The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 550 executives, with 30% C-level or board-level executives.

Kable ICT survey polled 2685 respondents.

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