​Data and analytics - Two sides of the same coin?

​Data and analytics - Two sides of the same coin?

Chief data officers must unify data management and analytics across the organisation.

The transition to digital business requires chief data officers (CDOs) to shift organisational mindsets, as information floods the enterprise.

In short, they need to align and coordinate a wide variety of data management and analytics initiatives to enable innovation, drive efficiencies and meet business objectives.

As the channel continues to get closer to the CDO - now active in 25 per cent of large global organisations - Gartner’s second annual survey of CDOs recently identified the top three business objectives for the office of the CDO as creating greater customer intimacy, increasing competitive advantage and improving efficiency.

In order to address these challenges, the research analyst firm claimed that CDOs need to ensure organisational harmony around three essential capabilities: blending internal and external data; applying the right analytical techniques and ensuring the findings are applied at the moments that matter to the business.

“A unified data and analytics agenda is already proving to be the dominant model for practicing CDOs,” Gartner research director, Valerie Logan, said.

“The survey found that more than 66 per cent of the 180 respondents are responsible for coordinating a range of both data management and analytics initiatives, and exploiting new data and analytics solutions for competitive advantage.

“However, creating and sustaining a cohesive enterprise data and analytics capability requires significant organisational change management. CDOs should approach data and analytics as a core strategic capability within a larger digital business strategy rather than simply as a set of related initiatives.”

According to Logan, digital business is comprised of key platforms and capabilities, with the data and analytics platform as the central engine.

“This represents a major shift in thinking as data and analytics move beyond being just a set of related disciplines, and instead become a multidisciplinary field within a larger digital business strategy,” Logan added.

“By adopting the strategic approach of viewing data and analytics as part of the fabric of digital business, an enterprise will be well-positioned to support digital business through the development of intelligent business processes.”

Looking ahead, Logan said digital business is “challenging long-held beliefs” about process and is “driving radical transformation” of business processes and business models in most industries.

“Smart or intelligent business processes are among the most important modern technology areas in which enterprises should invest over the next five years,” she advised.

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