A study released late last year by The Economist shows how big data is moving from its first adoption in 2011, to today, where companies are rising to the challenges of a data-driven world.


The paper draws on two main sources for its research and findings: A global survey of 550 executives, conducted in February 2015, and a series of in-depth interviews with senior executives.


The report highlights that over time data initiatives have moved from theoretical possibilities to focus on solving real and pressing business problems.  Not only that, it is clear there is a link between strategic data management and strong financial performance.  Companies with a well-defined data strategy are much more likely to report that they financially outperform their competitors.  Organisations with a strategic approach to how they manage their data are four times more likely to report that they are substantially ahead of their peers.


Company Financial Performance



There are a number of factors influencing this changing approach to the value of information.  Data-strategy ownership has been elevated to the C-Level, while the utilisation of data has become everyone’s business.  Over half of companies surveyed make sure that data are available to employees who need them.


This is further priligy india highlighted by the appearance in the 2015 survey of the chief data officer (CDO) role; this C-level position was virtually unknown in 2011.  In 2015 some 9% of respondents pointed to their CDO as the custodian of the corporate data strategy and capabilities.  No bad thing.


The future of big data has become less about how much can be stored, and more about the value that the business can extract from the information they hold.  The primary challenges companies face remains the same, data quality, data quantity and data security.  Today more companies acknowledge they struggle, in 2011, one in eight companies said they had so much data they found it difficult to make sense of it—in 2015 this was nearly one in four companies.


Data Challenges

What does this mean for Talent?


On the organisational front, companies have made strides in creating the right structures and roles.  However, the Economist report highlights the talent market in the data and analytics field is very tight.  This is especially still true in the market for data strategists.


As Mr Feeley, managing director of global shared services at Siemens, puts it, “There’s a war for talent, particularly for people who combine data expertise with domain knowledge.”