CIO as Chief Analytics Officer

We’ve come a long way from using an abacus to measure business success. In fact, when it comes to the way CIOs use analytics, there are three approaches available: descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive.  In her blog, Pearl Zhu discusses how IT analytics offer a considerable contribution to business value.

Three Ways to Measure

In the descriptive analytics view, CIOs harness the power of past transactions, learning from successes and failures. In the predictive view, they use information to make projections about likely future outcomes. A newer approach is the prescriptive view, in which the CIO attempts to align tech solutions to buoy business objectives and strategies.

Performance Enhancer

Organizational analytics and operational analytics: the difference is significant enough that IT pros have begun integrating application on-boarding software with analytics products. These days, customer collaboration is key, so the SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, and cloud) universe is put to work enhancing the performance of shop staff.

What Analytics Can and Can’t Do

Analytics can also improve operational efficiency. One thing that analytics can’t do is solve problems that don’t exist in the first place:

A key requirement for CIOs is to find problems that analytic can solve; rather than show up with a solution and then find a problem. It is the CIOs responsibility to understand the business problem and opportunity. Analytics by themselves are useful, but it is a hard sale when you don’t understand the business problem.

ROI Never Gets Old

Being ‘on board’ with the business is crucial if the CIO wants to avoid creating new problems by offering unnecessary solutions. As a facilitator of solutions, it is the CIO’s job to use analytics as a conveyor belt that receives information in one direction, and delivers new information and enabling technologies in the other. It’s a long way from sliding the beads on the old abacus, but counting ROI and measuring contribution to business value is never old hat.

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