Which C-Level Executive Will Be the Big Data Champion?

So far, it isn’t clear which C-level exec will lead the big-data charge. CIOs, if they want a shot at this job, will need to focus on business innovation, not technology.

Many corporations are asking: "Who should lead data and analytics activity across the enterprise?" The answer isn't necessarily the CIO.

Though the "I" in CIO stands for "information," many corporations act as though it means "infrastructure," so they haven't tapped the CIO to lead their enterprise information strategy.

We recently surveyed 86 top executives from 53 corporations. Only 31 percent of these executives named the CIO as the primary champion of their big-data initiatives; 58 percent cited other C-suite executives, such as the CFO, COO or CMO. Further, 48 percent of companies indicated they had hired or planned to hire a chief data officer to handle the job.

Where does this leave the CIO?

Unsettled Landscape

The good news is that this is an unsettled field--leadership for enterprise data isn't set in stone yet--so smart CIOs still have a shot. Corporations are struggling to develop an enterprise data and analytics strategy and debating whether that plan should be business- or technology-driven.

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