Top strategies CIOs must take to derive value from big data

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The importance of big data has gone beyond from being just a sales and marketing tool to organization’s anticorruption, anti-fraud and cyber risk assessment processes. C-suite leaders always find it difficult to derive insights from the huge amount of unstructured data.

Earnest and Young shares some guidelines for CIOs to become successful with big data.

How to navigate big data’s legal minefield

Most CIOs now recognize the huge potential of big data, but few have idea about legal and regulatory dangers involved.

Different businesses face different legal requirements. But any organization that fails to deal with the challenges risks legal sanction and reputation damage. For many, the biggest challenge is the protection of personal data. And across the globe, consumers’ concerns about the issue are helping to drive rapid changes in legislation.

Hence, E&Y strongly recommends that CIOs will need to work increasingly closely with their organization’s legal team to access the risk management skills and the advice on legislative changes that they need.

How to get value from unstructured data?

The biggest puzzle many CIOs currently face is how to get value from all the unstructured data their companies hold.

The vast amounts of diverse, unstructured data that companies are rapidly accumulating, both from external sources (e.g., Twitter posts) and internal sources (e.g., customer emails) is leaving many of them overwhelmed.

But some organizations are managing to draw valuable insights from this flood of data. For example, insurance companies have caught out a number of dishonest personal injury claimants from their posts on social media sites.

So, how can CIOs develop a successful approach to deriving insights from unstructured data? Here are just a few of the steps they should be taking:

  • Balance your approach between analytical and intuitive
  • Be open to new ideas about how to gain value from data
  • Build cross-functional teams to gain insights from different perspectives
  • Act cautiously when using customers’ data — even when you have their consent
  • Don’t upset your customers — be open about your activities

How to assess your readiness for a data-driven world?

The CIOs who are most successful with big data will be able to transform their businesses, making them totally data driven. But that success will not come from just collecting more and more data.

Even in huge quantities, data has no value in its own right. Collecting and storing vast amounts of it is pointless for businesses that do not understand how to analyze it in order to produce insights.

It is vital that CIOs take time to assess how far their organizations are on their big data journeys. Only by honestly evaluating their level of maturity on data and analytics will CIOs be able to identify areas for improvement.

How to remain relevant in a social world

Companies around the world are finding new and exciting ways of using social media to engage with their customers. Technology often plays a big part in campaigns.

But CIOs can be sidelined because the tools involved are cloud based, and are therefore simple to run, requiring no IT infrastructure.

But CIOs have an important contribution to make to ensure their organizations get the most from — and avoid the worst risks of — social media campaigns.

Here are some steps they need to take:

  • Sell IT’s ability to extract value from social data to the rest of the business
  • Guide the business’s technological choices
  • Communicate the company’s data governance policies to the whole business
  • Make sure that the cybersecurity risks of social media are addressed
  • Investigate the compliance risks of your businesses’ cloud campaigns

Big data presents the make-or-break opportunity by which most CIOs will be judged. The risks it presents are huge. For those who fail to deal with them, the legal, compliance and security challenges could prove business and career threatening.

But for those CIOs who take an active lead, big data represents a unique opportunity to transform their businesses, and to make their roles more strategic and more influential than ever before.

Big Data market growth projections

According to MarketsandMarkets, the big data market is expected to grow from $28.65 billion in 2016 to USD 66.79 billion by 2021, at a high CAGR of 18.45 percent.

There are various companies that are coming up with innovative and efficient big data solutions and services due to the need for advanced analytics solutions globally.

The major players offering bid data solutions and services are IBM, Oracle Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, SAP SE, Amazon Web Services, SAS Institute, Dell Inc., Teradata Corporation, and Splunk.

IDC says worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics (BDA) will grow from $130.1 billion in 2016 to more than $203 billion in 2020.

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