This week’s readings agree on a finding with which we cannot disagree: Big Data is all the rage. The Economist Intelligence Unit established companies that rate themselves substantially ahead of their peers in their use of data are three times more likely to rate themselves as substantially ahead in financial performance. While the notion of Big Data has been around for some time, the adoption of such and the actual implementation of the data is a newer struggle. This struggle is rooted in an IT vs. Marketing archetype.
Should Marketers be gathering the data? Do they know how to interpret the data? Should IT specialists be developing the processes by which the data is gathered? While these questions are pertinent and dubious, the most successful companies see the answer as clear: the fruitful implementation of Big Data relies on the marriage of Marketing and IT departments and their ability to work together. Thor Olavsurd of CIO writes, “Teradata points out that most marketing departments lack control of data management and strategy and rely on IT to get access to pertinent data.” Because the majority of Marketers do not see the folks in IT as their allies, the marriage between the two is often easier said than done. Additionally, however, Olavsurd stresses that Marketers feel IT has a flawed approach to Big Data. This ill feeling will ultimately prove detrimental to the CMO’s who decide not to pursue a friendship with their IT counterparts.
Gartner predicts that by 2017, CMO’s will spend more on IT than CIO’s. The only option for companies to avoid this unprecedented and treacherous reality is to put tremendous focus on the harmony between CMO’s and CIO’s.