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Data is the new currency, talent is the new investment

Daniel Ng, Senior Director for APAC, Cloudera | April 21, 2016
Cloudera's Daniel Ng talks about the need for data talents, and provides advice on building the data workforce of the future.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Digitisation is widely seen to be the next wave of economic and social advancement. Data and information now generates more economic value than the traditional global goods trade. In a recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study of more than 70 companies across sectors like consumer, financial services, retail, travel, media, technology and automotive, it was observed that most organisations have fundamentally changed and leaders must up their game to stay competitive. It was revealed that marketing leaders will need to have in place new and different capabilities and structures - including big data for consumer understanding and talent in areas like marketing effectiveness analytics - to be agile and effective in this new business environment.

Trends like Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, social media and mobile web services are drastically transforming the business landscape and reshaping boundaries. Most importantly, digitisation has actually levelled the playing field in certain aspects by allowing smaller firms to compete with larger multinationals on the global stage. The amount of cross-border bandwidth that is used has grown 45 times larger since 2005, according to McKinsey Global Institute.

It is also projected to increase by an additional nine times over the next five years as flows of information, searches, communication, video, transactions, and intracompany traffic continue to surge. Nowadays, virtually almost all types of cross-border transactions have a digital component to it.

Projecting new work roles
In fact, the trend has led Gartner to predict that at least 90 percent of the world's organisations will have a Chief Data Officer role by the end of 2019. BCG has reiterated this with the concept of a 'data story teller' - someone who can address data based insights effectively in the form of stories and narratives that will reverberate with the target audience both inside and outside the organisation.

Generally, larger organisations that are keen to fully realise the potential of data will want to have in place a Chief Data Officer. This person will likely be handling the many opportunities and responsibilities that arise from the collection and harnessing data, and to fully leverage the available data in line with business and corporate objectives.

Some industry experts also foresee a role of Chief Analytics Officer being formed within organisations. The Chief Analytics Officer will be responsible for capturing and tracking the analytic models that are developed and deployed throughout the organisation. He or she will probably also need to be in charge of protecting the organisation's analytical assets.

Besides these, as organisations work with more data and increasing rely on it for operations and processes, the roles of data workers will be more defined and streamlined. Just like how data analysts and data scientists might not have existed 20 years ago, we will see more data-related roles being created. 


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