Important Q: If not the CIO, Who? at the

Important Q: If not the CIO, Who? at the end of article: Social Analytics Isn’t Just For Social Networks | Big Data

Openshaw, the author, asks a very important question and then in his answer raises significant issues around the CIO role and ownership when it comes to motivating adoption of insights analytics applications. What should we be requiring of the CIO?

The excerpt reads:

“If Not The CIO, Who?

IT leaders have an untapped asset. As the custodian of the company’s data, it’s the CIO’s job to tap into it.

Start with a one-time deep dive into the company’s social data. See that data warehouse? Dive in. What are you looking for? Patterns of interaction. Make observations about how these patterns influence performance and engage with other business leaders about these insights and about how the patterns identified in social data could be used to create truly predictive indicators.”

It appears that Openshaw is suggesting that the CIO take responsibility for and ownership of actually diving into the data to conduct the analyses and find the insights. That is placing a lot of expectation on the CIO and his team. But I wonder if the CIO should be part of the process, understanding the needs of the other stakeholders to make sure that the infrastructure can support the needed applications with a focus the CIO team’s strengths, while allowing domain experts in marketing or operations to actually describe the needs with the data and do the analyses, in line with their strengths. There is a strong argument that to be most effective, those in the domains of using the insights be the ones to search for the patterns and work with the CIO’s team to have the ability to do that.

Openshaw says that “collectors of data must learn which questions to ask and which hypotheses to test.” This learning should probably take place from others in the organization who own the development of these questions and hypotheses for their areas of responsibility in the organization.

The CIO is probably in the best position to coordinate the stakeholders. The CIO can bring them together in a common cause of data management and analytics tools investment needs, and inspire them to learn what their needs are and to plan out their analytics applications’ agendas. The CIO is in a unique position to have the credibility and the appropriate business interest and political context to facilitate these kinds of vital areas of collaboration.

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