Big data can tell you a lot about your customers. It can also be overwhelming. The next decade CIO: Navigating the data conundrum was the theme of the CIO Conference 2013 held in March at One World Hotel, Petaling Jaya, organised by CIO Asia magazine.
"Every day, every hour, every minute, data is generated through multiple devices and networks," said TC Seow, Editor, CIO Asia in his welcome address. "Management gurus are telling companies to tap into social media to gain insights into business and personal information. Mobile computing is encouraging the new movement towards de-centralisation and changes in the use of information technology (IT) resources."
How does an organisation make sense of the data flow (or overflow)? Discussions centred on how organisations enhanced data to gain knowledge and ways to get started on big data analytics. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) undoubtedly plays a crucial role in the big data movement, and The Great Debate highlighted CIOs' critical responsibilities by asking the question—'Can the CIO be the Chief Analytics Officer?'
"A lot of data is being churned, but not all data is useful," said Bobby Varanasi, Global Ambassador, International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP), and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Matryzel Consulting. "The challenge for organisations lies in their ability to sort the relevant from the irrelevant."
Photo: Bobby Vanarasi.
The growth in data volume, variety and velocity has added to the complexity of managing data. As data generated today is structured differently and growing rapidly, making sense of data is a tough task. Effective business analytics sought to combine structured and unstructured data while filtering out information relevant to an organisation's business strategy.
"Analytics must be championed from the top as it involves changes in culture and processes," said Varanasi. "An organisation needs to know what problems it wants to solve. Then, it has to build a strategy which prioritises these objectives. This includes channelling resources into analytics initiatives and breaking down territorial boundaries over information ownership. Sharing information across the organisation will serve its competitive strategy."
"Data-driven thinking must not only be confined to the IT people," continued Varanasi. "Business priorities must always come first. Putting the right people with the necessary skill set in place and investing in the right technology will improve the effectiveness of your data analytics process."
"Big data is about applying new technology to solve old problems," said Raymond Au, Director, Big Data & Analytics, Oracle Asia Pacific. "New technology enables enterprises to better understand the data produced and utilise it for growth."
Photo: Raymond Au.
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