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Finding the Big Data Manager may mean Building a New Role

Organizations around the world have either been launching or considering deploying Big Data initiatives for the past several years, although they often struggle when identifying who will ultimately be responsible for carrying out and managing the initiatives. Although the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is sometimes considered the primary caretaker for large, unstructured information sets, these individuals will often emphasize the use of technology, not necessarily data.

This conundrum was highlighted in a recent CIO report, which noted that the Big Data landscape is still an open and unfamiliar field for many companies, which means executives can decide how to embrace their initiatives. This finding also suggests that businesses can develop a unique role that is responsible for maintaining and executing a Big Data initiative with no problem, which has led many firms to create a Chief Data Officer (CDO) position.

Decision-makers who are charged with the construction and maintenance of Big Data endeavors must demonstrate that they have a perspective that can see beyond the top layer of technology used. Although it is important that data specialists understand the use of sophisticated applications and solutions, such as scalable cloud computing infrastructures, those individuals must also recognize their organization's overarching long-term needs, CIO noted. This business mindset will help leaders create customized projects that cater to the objectives of their companies.

Getting projects on track with expectation
As the competitive nature of today's business world continues to force organizations to embrace innovative and personalized Big Data initiatives, decision-makers need to take the time to ensure those endeavors are functional. An IBM study found that Big Data programs must be associated with a number of critical responsibilities, but also have the support of C-level executives. Reaching this goal may require building a Chief Data Oficer role or getting the CIO and other top managers on board with the endeavors.

"In order to unlock the value of data, organizations need to identify different C-suite champions to get fully behind the use of analytics," said Fred Balboni of IBM Global Business Services. "Emerging roles like the chief data officer and the chief analytics officer are helping companies build an enterprise-wide data strategy to gain competitive advantage."

In the coming years, companies will find that taking the time to develop robust Big Data projects that are governed by skilled managers will be much more rewarding than simply launching a program with no prior planning.

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