CIOs & Big Data: What IT Teams Want Their CIOs to Know

It’s no secret that enterprises today face an increasingly competitive and erratic global business environment, and that Big Data is more than just another IT project – it’s truly a finger on the pulse of the business. To say that in 2013 Big Data is “mission critical” is to put it mildly – organizations that ignore the insights that Big Data can deliver are flying blind. So, it is all the more disconcerting that 55% of Big Data projects don’t get completed, and many others fall short of their objectives.

In order to understand the reasons for this, Infochimps partnered with, one of the largest enterprise technology-focused, community-driven sites and a source for answers to IT-related questions and professional growth for more than 570,000 members. Together we got survey responses from over 300 IT department staffers – 58% of whom have current Big Data projects underway – on what they most wanted their CIOs to know about the process of implementing Big Data projects.

Key findings are summarized in the following infographic:

SurveyInfographic Final CIOs & Big Data: What IT Teams Want Their CIOs to Know

While the findings reveal many reasons for Big Data project failure, undoubtedly one of the biggest factors is lack of communication between top managers, who provide the overall project vision, and the data scientist and other IT staff charged with actually implementing it. Far too frequently their opinions are taken as an afterthought, and consequently considered only when projects veer off-course.

Given the stakes, it’s imperative that CIOs have a 360-degree view of all that a Big Data project will involve – not just the various Big Data technologies that are so frequently at the forefront of Big Data discussions.

The insight we gleaned reveals much about both enterprise technology and enterprise culture. In order for companies to succeed with Big Data, executives will need to rethink long-held notions of how diverse departments should function together. In the past “breaking down silos” was a nice mantra. Now, it is imperative. Additionally, CIOs and other enterprise executives may find it necessary to educate their organizations on the advantages of new Big Data applications and processes that will give them better customer insights, make their jobs infinitely easier and give their departments the elasticity needed to meet virtually any business need in real-time.

We hope this report will serve not only as a source of insight, but also be a reminder to seek the invaluable perspective of IT staff as early as possible in the process of developing new, technology-intensive projects.