Analytics for Human Information: CIOs vs CMOs: Who’s Biggest on Big Data?

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Alec Wagner is an associate editor for the Discover Performance blog.

 

Much like BYOD and SaaS, Big Data is infiltrating enterprises by making an end-run around IT. IDC forecasts that by 2016, LOB executives will be directly involved in 80 percent of new IT investments. As vendors make inroads by selling to LOBs—and getting chief marketing officers (CMOs) to sign the contracts—Big Data initiatives are as likely to be born in marketing as they are in IT. For CMOs, being able to extract sentiment analysis from unstructured data is a huge step forward, but central IT still has a role to play in the Big Data quest for customer insight.

 

To find out how this new environment is changing the roles of IT and marketing/LOBs, HP Discover Performance is hosting a webcast that brings a CIO and CMO together for a frank discussion of Big Data. Who should have control? 

 

Big Data at the crossroads of IT and marketing

Logicworks Content Marketing Manager Jake Gardner summed up the aforementioned scenario’s downside in a post on Wired.com: “Big data sits at the crossroads of the CMO and CIO mandates—part result of smart IT and part result of well-executed analytics. However, when considering ownership, it’s hard to extend ultimate control to the CMO when so much has to occur before the CMO sees the data to ensure that its value is delivered.” Bad analytics only mean that bad choices will follow—not to mention potential security issues that expose a company to huge risks when Big Data solutions roll out without IT’s oversight and governance.

 

In one corner office, the CIO approaches Big Data as the master of IT analytics and business data. CIOs need insight into how much of its portfolio investment maps to strategic business issues, and whether cloud projects are bringing the desired agility and cost savings. For the business, CIOs must enable the ability to extract genuine insight from sales data, customer data, website traffic, and social media—and at a sophisticated level that fuels competitive advantage.

 

In another corner office, the CMO is anxious to leverage a self-service tool that promises unprecedented customer insight. Big Data can afford highly customer-centric CMOs a goldmine of information about customer sentiment, behavior analysis, and a deeper understanding of the customer journey across multiple channels. Marketers can now ask so many more questions about customers—and get answers that allow them to tailor their efforts in real-time.

 

Can we all just get along here?

Yet the relationship between IT and marketing is a notoriously uneasy one. According to Accenture Interactive, 77 percent of CIOs want to be aligned with CMOs, while only 56 percent of CMOs do. And although CMOs might not be keen on their CIOs, they rank IT as the No. 1 organization to collaborate with; CIOs rank marketing at No. 4, behind BUs, sales and the CFO. The Accenture report bottom lines it thus: When comparing strength of relationships between IT and other departments, IT’s relationship with sales/marketing stands out as “needing the most work,” with 72 percent saying it could be improved.

 

Who should hold the keys to the Big Data kingdom?

Clearly, something here needs fixing—there are gaps that must be filled in, and bridges to be built. CIOs and CMOs are vying for relevance and budget. Ultimately, the big question is, “Can the CIO step out of the CMO’s shadow IT?”

 

We’re bringing together reps from both camps to discuss, debate and hash out the issues. Listen to the conversation, “CIOs vs CMOs: Who’s biggest on Big Data?” on October 30, 11 am PDT, to see where Big Data is headed, how it will get there, and if the CIO and CMO can bury the hatchet along the way. Register now.

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