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Fostering a data-driven culture: EY

Zafirah Salim | Oct. 9, 2015
Businesses should strive to use data in an effective manner to drive business decisions that align to business strategies and plans, said Sunny Chu, APAC Leader for Analytics at Ernst & Young.

Breaking down each element, Chu explained that the 'grow' factor is about acquiring more customers and generating high customer satisfaction. Business leaders are concerned about doing analytics in an integrated manner, and their focus is on the quality as they believe that one cannot do anything substantial with a pool of poor quality data.

On the other hand, 'protect' has plenty to do with reputational risk. It is concerned with protecting data, especially securing customer's personal and private information. Lastly, optimising is about driving the business performance. Companies who wish to innovate need to think about how they can use open data policy as an opportunity to take the data from the agency and use it to develop products or create a new business.

Diving deeper into this, Chu shared a three-phased approach for big data. Firstly, businesses need to learn to simply take advantage and make better use of the high volume of internal data. Secondly, they need to mix up these internal data with external data to "build the context".

Thirdly, businesses need to make use of external data to build the variety of data and identify different patterns. He emphasized that customers need to be able to differentiate signals from the noise in order to provide a level of clarity to connect the dots with the company's internal data policy.  

Emergence of CDOs and CAOs

Following the analytics trend in the enterprise space, Chu noted that there has been a rapid emergence of new roles in the C-suite level such as Chief Data Officers (CDOs) and Chief Analytics Officers (CAOs).

When asked about the difference between the two, Chu said that CAOs typically focus on the data to understand market trends. The CAO aspires to drive the consumption of insights, promoting informed decision-making. In short, the CAO is about creating real business value through data analytics and fostering the company's data-driven culture.

On the other hand, CDOs use data to drive business performance. This includes data management and governance, to better sharing of the individual data. Another aspect that they are concerned with is security, he added. With security incidents like hacking and breaches on the rise, it is essential for them to explore data protection frameworks; and work with the risk management team for a holistic approach to security.

"In a way, CDOs do overlap with the role of the CAOs. But I typically see only one or the other at the moment. Companies who have a CAO role are usually very focused on the business strategies and their key intention is to grow the business. It is the exact opposite for companies who have a CDO role. Conversely, growth is their least priority, and their top concern lies in optimising the business instead," concluded Chu.


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