Whose Data Is It Anyway?

Irrespective of who is steering your data in the organization, you can still derive value from it, as the examples of some early-movers in India demonstrate

Since 2011, data has continuously made a comeback in our office discussions and business meetings. It has even crept into our coffee breaks. Questions, such as 'where do I begin?' or 'which solution should I deploy?' or 'what skills do I need?' must have already crossed your mind. Some of you may have also already identified data as your 'strategic corporate asset'. But how many of you are actually using it to solve real and pressing business problems? How many of you have actually identified the value that your business can extract from this data? This story is about those who have started answering some of these questions. Some are your peers, others your business partners. Read their stories.

Much before big data got its name; organizations have been storing it and crunching numbers in Microsoft Excel. The oldest-known examples of humans storing and analyzing data goes back 20,000 years, much before Babylonians discovered Abacus. A bone (known as Ishango) was used by the Paleolithic tribes, (now Ugandans), to create stick-like marks and notches on a bone to keep track of trading activity and supplies. They would compare these sticklike marks to perform rudimentary calculations—enabling them to make predictions, such as how long their food supplies would last. Whether it was for predicting food supplies then or it is for shaping business insights now, it only emphasizes the prominence that data holds, and that the relevance of data is not new. Nor is the Chief Information Officer handling it. What is also not new is the emergence of a new role to handle data two years ago; globally, the number has seen a jump to 20% in 2016 from 13% in 2014. The research firm expects 90% of large organizations to have a Chief Data Officer (CDO) by 2019.

 

In India, however, Gartner recorded only 7% of new CDOs in organizations which grew to 9% in 2016. Despite the explosive growth of data in Indian organizations, the evolution of the role to manage this data has been rather insignificant. A diminutive 0.1% of CDOs were hired in the last three years to look after data and analytics in Indian organizations, according to hiring trends observed by career management firm, HeadHonchos.com. “This is because we have seen this role being carried out by Chief Analytics Officer, Chief Data Scientist and CIOs, and there has been a considerable demand for the Data Scientist and Chief Data Scientist roles during this period.

 

Again, the role is mostly created by large organizations, such as Banks (4.5%) and IT firms (20.4%). We are not aware of any medium-sized firms that have a demand for this role,” says, Sandeep Vadnere, Co-Founder and Vice President, Engineering and Product at HeadHonchos.com. So here’s what is new: what organizations are doing with this data. We bring to you learning from marketing, IT and data leaders who are using data and analytics to transform their businesses. 

 

Introducing the new data guy next door: The Chief Data Officer

Steering Data science-driven marketing: The Chief Marketing Officer

Meet the Oldest Data Custodian: The Chief Information Officer

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