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Big data having more of a say in strategic decisions

3/12/2015 by Jenny Burton


We're edging closer to having half of all organisations worldwide treat their data as a strategic asset, according to a new global survey.

Of the 550 senior executives questioned by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), 44% said that this year they have seen data become a more important tool that drives strategic decisions, up from 39% in 2011.

The report, called "Big Data Evolution", which details how attitudes towards big data have changed in the past four years, suggests firms are becoming savvier with their use of data and are making better use of the information available to them.

More than one in ten (14%) respondents said they have seen data completely change the way they do business in 2015 compared to 9% in 2011.

Increasing recognition among businesses that data is of marked value to them has promoted a rise in strategic data managers, which the survey classifies as companies that have a well-defined data-management strategy. In 2011, less than one in five (18%) were considered strategic data managers – a figure that has risen to 33% in 2015.

The survey also indicates that firms are no longer asking for more data, but rather the right data to help solve specific problems. The number of data collectors – companies that collect large amounts of data but do not maximise its value – has fallen to 20% in 2015, compared to 28% in 2011.

Due to this greater understanding, the management of a data strategy is increasingly becoming the task of the CIO, while it has also resulted in the creation of the chief data officer role, underlining the significance of data value.

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

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