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Big data comes with big obstacles for some CIOs

January 24th, 2013
Big Data


Big data is not without big obstacles for some CIOs. In a survey from Robert Half Technology, 76 percent of CIOs (chief information officers) said their companies don’t presently gather customer data such as demographics or buying habits. Less than one in four (23 percent) executives interviewed for the study said their firms do collect this type of information. Among those that do, more than half (53 percent) said they lack sufficient staff to access customer data, and generate reports and other business insights from it.

Not only that, the IT specialists who handle big data, business intelligence architects, data architects and data warehouse analysts don’t come inexpensively.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology (IT) professionals on a project and full-time basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees.

CIOs were asked, “Does your company collect customer data, such as email addresses, demographics, buying habits and so on?” Their responses*:

No 76%
Yes 23%
Don’t know 2%

CIOs who answered “yes” to the question above were asked, “Does your technology team have sufficient personnel to access and generate strategic reports and insights from the customer data your organization collects? Their responses*:

No 53%
Yes 46%
Don’t know 2%

“Hiring employees to collect and fully leverage customer data can be costly, but the information can be extremely useful to organizations,” said John Reed , senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. “This type of information gives firms an opportunity to create more personalized online experiences for customers, develop highly targeted marketing campaigns and optimize business practices.”

Reed added that some firms may not collect customer data because they lack the systems and resources for high data analytics, or they may not have the budget to do so.

For companies looking to fill big-data positions, following are job descriptions and salary ranges for the most in-demand jobs in the field, according to the Robert Half Technology 2013 Salary Guide:

  1. Business intelligence analysts assist firms in making critical business decisions by gathering and analyzing data to better target marketing efforts. Starting salaries for these professionals will range from $94,250 to $132,500 this year.
  2. Data architects evaluate and translate business requirements into specific database solutions (e.g., data design models, database architecture and data repository designs). These professionals are forecast to see starting salaries ranging from $104,250 to $143,500 in 2013.
  3. Data warehouse analysts collect, analyze and leverage a firm’s stored data, and devised solutions that make it easier to access. Data warehouse analysts can expect starting salaries ranging from $93,500 to $126,500 this year.


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One Response to “Big data comes with big obstacles for some CIOs”

  1. A key success factor to making the Big Data era successful is uniting multiple silos of data. One of the key silos is detailed information about your customers. The power of Big Data is gaining the insights about specific events and opportunities and then to get those insights in the hands of the frontline. Detailed information about your customers (and your prospects and your vendors) is a prerequisite.