IBM says that it’s time to invite data scientists to the board room. Fortune recently declared “The Algorithmic CEO.” A UK financial company, Deep Knowledge Ventures, has appointed an algorithm to its board of directors.
What is happening with analytics at the corporate board level?
According to a 2013 survey by Tata Consulting, three consistent challenges that executives face in realizing ROI from Big Data projects are
- “Getting business units to share information across organizational silos”
- “Building high levels of trust between the data scientists who present insights on Big Data and the functional managers”
- “Determining what data to use for different business decisions”
These challenges have little or nothing to do with technology.
The first two are issues of organizational culture. The last pertains to business strategy. Organizational culture and business strategy are squarely the purview of corporate officers and directors.
One could fault corporate officers and directors for being behind the Big Data curve. It’s not like this stuff just happened in the past two months.
What is new is the awareness of potential competitive advantage by applying analytics across silos of IT, operational, and external data, not just within silos. Corporate officers and directors (should) work above individual data silos, looking for advantage. They have not had powerful, easy tools for analytics across silos–until the advent of situational intelligence solutions.
A defining characteristic of situational intelligence solutions is the ability to access and correlate multiple sources of IT, operational, and external data into a single platform for analysis. Related to that is the ability to visualize the results of analysis for multiple types of users on multiple devices.
Thus, situational intelligence solutions are useful board-level tools for sharing information across silos, building trust across the organization and collaborating on what data can support the best business decisions. Maybe it’s time to invite situational intelligence to the board room.