Who’s Driving the Big Data Bus?

During a recent Twitter #cxo chat, interesting discussion came up about “ownership” of big data. Most talked about having goals and objectives lead big data implementations. If this were the case, business groups would be leading the way. But in many orgs, big data implementations and utilization is being spearheaded by IT groups. Is there a mismatch here?

From our perspective, big data can and does mean a number of things. IMS believes it’s not just about the volume or velocity of data, it’s also about the quality and intricacy of the data. Depending on the scenario, item level customer specific transaction data may not warrant Hadoop level management, but it surely is of high quality, where data integrity and structure for deep analytical work is critical.

So, who should own big data? Big data ownership needs to be a truly collaborative venture, where shared vision, goals, resources, and knowledge sharing take place. A collaboration where IT and Business groups support each other to do two big things: One, analyze data to find new ways of doing things better, faster and more efficiently, and two, explore data to uncover new trends, needs and opportunities that at present are unknown. It is the merging of understanding what has happened (customer transaction data), with why it has happened (unstructured and qualitative data), to explore and test what should happen next (predictive analysis). All this – using data that’s exclusively yours – is the “unfair advantage”.