IT overload ‘stalls rise of big data’

IT chiefs are holding back the wide-scale adoption of so-called “big data analytics” in many organisations because they simply have too many other projects on the go.
This is the damning verdict of the boss of one of the world’s leading analytics firms – Teradata chief executive Mike Koehler – who claims only a small number of firms are taking full advantage of their customer data.
Koehler, who was speaking at a Teradata Partner User Group conference in the US this week, said the decision is more likely to be pushed through by other executives on the board, such as the chief exec or the finance boss.
He added: “You look at companies that are leading in analytics and data, and they are treating data as a corporate asset. The data needs to be assembled, governed, managed, integrated and shared. Not all companies are there, and in fact I think the ones who are, are in the minority.
“It takes a change in operations, budget and control, which means it is a big step, and as a result, needs to come from the top. It can be a chief executive pushing through a corporate initiative to get visibility to risk across all customers, for example.
“[It might also come from marketing], as a marketing executive also has a lot of visibility of the business because they are intersecting so many departments. It might also be finance that takes the lead because it is a neutral department looking across the corporation.”
The head of Teradata’s European operation Hermann Wimmer agreed and said that finance and marketing tend to push for big analytics data.
“Finance probably has the biggest involvement,” said Wimmer. “Change is often driven by smart finance people, and by marketing people who have a good influence across the business.”
In contrast, chief information officers are often less enthusiastic. “A typical corporation today has a lot of things they have to get done and the CIO has a backlog of requests to get through. As a result, the CIO is sometimes reluctant to change.
“In a way, the inertia of the company sometimes gets in the way of doing something differently, changing and centralising their data. This is the problem. I can see that a CIO has more pressing challenges.”

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