Article review: Big data: Harnessing a game-changing asset

I was perusing my favorite blogs and Timo Elliot wrote a smart entry about the “Big data: Harnessing a game-changing asset” article done by The Economist. 

I am going to take a different take than the one Timo took on the lengthy article though I recommend reading his point of view where he stress that companies take on how well they use their business intelligence and/or analytics is often called “Illusory Superiority” or the “Lake Wobegon Effect” (a radio show where “all the children are above average”).

My take on the article is to focus on this chart.


So from this chart the CIO/Senior IT executive and/or some other ‘Senior business executive’ is in charge of the data management strategy.

First, what other ‘Senior business executive’ could that be?

The CFO?  Not likely.  So, what other VP would be in charge of it?  Really?

I would love that answer just to satisfy my curiosity, because I am stumped.

The important point is that the CEO is a 1 in 5 chance to be responsible for the data management strategy.

While a CFO is in charge of Finance, the CEO is responsible for the financial stability and integrity of the company.  Just ask those Enron folks.  So the CEO takes a very active role in managing the finances on a daily basis by getting information on the company’s performance related to dollars or euros and so forth.

But, what is the status of our data quality?  The risk to our data integrity?  Not so much I guess.

As CEO, you base part of all your decisions on the data that is provided to you and you are not responsible for the strategy on how to manage that critical asset?  I suspect that the 18% of the CEO’s who are listed as responsible are from companies like ADP.  People don’t like their paychecks messed up.

The CEO need to take the role of data management as part of their role due to the critical (mission, not business) part it plays today and will only grow in your business.

Let me put it this way.  If money is the fuel that a company runs on, then data today, and big data especially, is the oxygen.  The better the quality of the data and the easier it flows to the decision makers, the more efficient (profitable) that your fuel (money) is burned.


If you are a CEO, you need to take the responsibility of your data management and get reports on that daily as well.  It will serve you well to truly be smarter then your competition and not just say you are.

Hey, Timo Elliot said that first.