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Guest View: Aligning technology and business in the Age of Big Data Analytics: Who’s responsible?

Shanmugar Sunthar, Chief Technology Officer, SAS Singapore | May 28, 2014
Organizations have to align technology and business departments to answer a larger question: How can we get the most value from data across the enterprise?

3.       Promote your successes. Executives understand the necessity of investing in analytics, but they appreciate tangible business results. So it is important to capture and showcase those tangible and quantifiable improvements wherever possible. As news spreads of the success of one data/analytics project, other business leaders will want to get on board. In the process, everybody gains a greater appreciation for how data initiatives can serve the business better.

4.       Establish a business analytics center of excellence. Organizations have help desks to fix a crashed PC, but often have no equivalent for the analytics environment. A center of excellence can develop and promote analytics best practices, educate decision makers on the value of analytics, support and coordinate the big data efforts of a business unit, and ultimately, achieve better internal alignment between business and IT.

The role of the CIO

The CIO is often best-placed to lead the charge in bridging the gap between business and IT. They are often best positioned to understand what data is being collected and how it flows throughout the organization. This will help the CIO set the strategy for data management and analytics across the company.

Deployment of big data includes assigning people to collect and own data across various business functions, generating insights and prioritizing allocation of analyst resources. Not only that, IT must also host and maintain the technological infrastructure, set privacy policy and access rights and ensure that all processes are compliant with corporate data security regulations and domestic laws.

The key distinction here is, while IT plays a critical role in the maintaining of infrastructure and tools to perform analytics, they do not own the entire big data process.

In summary, organizations are increasingly realizing that there is more to big data analytics than simply implementing technology. With so many functions and priorities involved, the CIO needs to bring together all relevant departments and focus on aligning internally to ensure that data analytics are being deployed efficiently. The vision is to move toward more consistent and centralized toolsets while still granting the business units appropriate autonomy and control.

Most institutions will have to go through a cultural reincarnation to position themselves for the challenges and opportunities of big data. Organizations where analytics is a natural and embedded part of the decision-making process will be well-positioned for growth. Data is everyone's business, and the relationship between IT and the business will need to continue to evolve.


[1] Big data: The organizational challenge, Bain & Company



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