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CIO Conference 2013: Navigating the data conundrum in Malaysia

Rosalind See | March 26, 2013
Making sense of Big Data requires multi-prong approach to preparing, processing and interpreting vast volumes of digital data.

Captain likened analytics to an iceberg—much of the base is hidden from sight. "System and data integration forms a vital part of analytics, and it is the CIO who manages and understands how that foundation works."

Phil Captain
Photo: Phil Captain

"CIOs have to adapt to a changing game," added Captain. "Using analytics, they can make a difference by leading, not just managing, the business."

The 'No' team's arguments were just as compelling. "The CIO's role is to ensure that systems function properly. It is a very specific role," argued Stan Singh, captain of the 'No' team. "The CIO supports the business in that role and should focus only on that role."

Au backed up the point by pointing out the CIO and the Chief Analytics Officer (CAO) had different skill sets. "Analytics is a special branch of science and requires different skills," he said.

"The reality is that business leaders do not understand IT, and IT leaders do not understand business," said Sridhar. "There remains a gap. They contribute to the organisation in different ways.

B. Sridhar Raju
Photo: B. Sridhar Raju

Fung shared the results of a simple survey conducted with CIOs of Malaysian-based organisations which showed that CIOs themselves were ambivalent over the issue. Asked whether CIOs should be CAOs, 45 percent replied 'No', 27 percent replied 'Yes', and another 27 percent were undecided.

Alan Fung
Photo: Alan Fung

The result of the debate, as judged by the audience, was a victory for the 'No' team, which won 60 percent of the vote cast.

Lucky draw winner
Photo: Lucky draw winner (left), with CIO Asia editor, TC Seow.


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