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Chief Marketing, Information Officers Need to Be on Same Page for Big Data to Equal Big Profit

A global company recently decided to do what many companies are doing: figure out how to turn big data into big profits. It put together a preliminary budget and a request for proposal that in effect asked vendors to take the data the company had and identify opportunities.

Vendors were thrilled with what was essentially a free pass to collect and analyze everything (with due regard for customer privacy concerns, of course). Two months later, the bids were coming in 400 percent over budget. The obvious solution was to narrow the scope, but no one was sure what to cut and what to keep because the chief marketing officer hadnít specifically defined the most important data requirements, and the CIO hadnít reviewed the request for proposal or intervened to prevent the inevitable above-budget bids. Months of wasted time and spending later, the company is no closer to a big data plan.

Variations of this big data storyline are playing out in executive offices around the world, with CMOs and CIOs in the thick of it. CMOs, who are responsible for promoting growth, need the CIOsí help to turn the surfeit of customer data their companies are accumulating into increased revenue. CIOs, obliged to turn new technology into revenue, need the CMOs to help them with better functional and technical requirements for big data initiatives.

The situation reflects a central truth in todayís big data world: both the CMO and CIO are on the hook for turning all that data into growth together. It may be a marriage of convenience, but itís one that CMOs and CIOs need to make work especially as worldwide volume of data is growing at least 40 percent a year, with ever-increasing variety and velocity.

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