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CIO Summit Interview: Turning your Big Data into a competitive weapon

T.C. Seow | July 4, 2013
Ahead of the 2013 CIO Summit on 31 July in Singapore, Kimberly Nevala, Director, Thought Leadership Delivery, SAS Best Practices, shares her views about the challenges confronting CIOs hoping to ride the Big Data wave.

Finally, new information delivery capabilities encourage adoption and engagement with business insights. Capabilities range from the ability to deliver contextually relevant dashboards and alerts on mobile devices, to advanced data visualisation tools that allow users of all stripes to quickly and intuitively engage with data and serve as the basis for a holistic self-service BI strategy.

Together these capabilities provide the ability to move data-rich business analytics from a back-room activity to an integral part of business operations.

How are you and your organisation responding to current trends and moving towards helping them solve these problems (as cited above in the previous question)?

SAS is a leading provider of cutting-edge business analytics and information solutions that allow businesses to access and exploit their data assets—big and small. Equally important: we realise that technology in a vacuum doesn't create value.

As a result we actively engage with clients to think holistically about what being a data-driven organisation really means. And to challenge existing paradigms regarding how to both acquire and deliver actionable business insight. This runs the gamut from educating key decision makers on the "art of the possible" to determining how (and if) analytics and big data supports identified business strategies. It also extends to redesigning analytic processes to proactively engage business owners in determining how new insights can be applied to create, automate or streamline existing business processes.

Last but not least, delivering transformative business solutions is not a once-and-done endeavour. So developing appropriate governance and decision making to ensure business and technology evolve in lockstep is also key.

What will be the most important trends, in your opinion, to emerge in the next one to two years in enterprise IT—which will be a boon and which a curse?

In many ways the challenge of the next few years will be translating existing trends into "business as usual". Big data, advanced analytics, cloud and SaaS, mobile, and social (the list goes on) have been hot topics. However, most companies remain in the early stage of developing associated business and technology strategies and piloting these capabilities. The emerging imperative is to move from strategy to tactics, planning to execution.

That being said, I believe there are some key trends that will incite organisations to accelerate adoption of existing "game changing" technologies.

The first is the emerging study of infonomics (or data economics) and the monetisation of data. In the digital economy information is the new currency. And while we've all agreed data is an asset with value this emerging field will legitimise methods to quantify that value. Which can only help to justify continued investment in the resources, technology and processes required to govern and manage data appropriately.


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