In a recent CIO Journal article, Is There a Leadership Vacuum for Big Data?, my fellow guest columnist Tom Davenport reflected on whether institutions should appoint a dedicated executive to oversee their company-wide big data and analytics initiatives, and if so, which C-level senior executives should such a position report to. His column was motivated by a 2012 Deloitte survey he was personally involved with of over 75 companies.
About 80 percent of the participating companies said that they were already using big data and analytics to a greater or lesser extent. With few exceptions, all companies expected that these initiative will become more important to their organizations over the next three years. But, the responsibility for the initiatives was all over the map, being managed by a variety of executives and functions.
“An ongoing matter of debate among data analytics practitioners is whether or not analytics should be a more centralized function or one that is embedded within various corporate work streams and geographies,” notes the Deloitte survey . “The opinions are as varied as the companies and industries involved.”