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We’re living in a ‘Golden Age of Data’, with CIOs a critical part of the management team and ‘data’ being both more visible and valued than ever before. But as enterprise CEOs start learning the basics of their IT environment, they’re discovering that they’ve got more data and tools than they can handle—the key is how to prepare for the future while optimizing the present.

Today’s Enterprise IT Data: MIA

We all know the hard facts about today’s enterprise data—that it isn’t as complete, accurate or reliable as we’d like. Our findings, after 12 years of working with enterprise data, is that, at any one time, up to 40% of IT data can be inaccurate or MIA. And there’s nothing a CEO can do except task the CIO with remedying the situation.

Nonetheless, that data is used to make decisions on a daily basis. Significant decisions. And here’s where CEOs can impact the way that data is used. At Blazent we talk about a ‘data—decision’ spectrum. If there’s a fulcrum at work here, it’s all balanced in Data’s favor. IT hands the CEO the data and says “this is the best we can do”, and the CEO commences with the decision-making, often with fingers crossed.

Decisions Trump Data

What I tell my CEO peers is that they need to rebalance the fulcrum, that it’s IT’s job to understand and support the business process, not the other way around. In essence, the CEO says: “Here are the characteristics of a sound decision: now make sure your data is capable of supporting them.” Those core characteristics are:

  • All-encompassing. Based on ALL relevant data, no matter the type or source. If it exists, we should be able to use it.

  • Capable of giving immediate (real-time) actionable information.

  • Be as ‘association-rich’ as possible

  • Be as ‘history-rich’ as possible

Those changes need to happen now. Because we’re living in the world of Data 2.0 (Big Data), with Data 3.0 (the Internet of Things) right around the corner. And if we don’t make our data more ‘decision-centric’ we’ll be crossing both our fingers and our toes with decisions in the new data ages.