Big Data

CIO wish list for 2018’s subscription economy

By John Phillips, VP EMEA, Zuora
Big Data
Published: 19 December 2017

With the festive season well and truly upon us, figuring out the perfect gift for everyone on your list can sometimes be a struggle. The CIO is no different! What to get for the person who shoulders the burden to innovate within their organisation?

Since data to a CIO can be more valuable than gold, (frankincense and myrrh), identifying where investment in data analytics can add value should be on every CIO’s wish list in 2018.

According to IDC’s, big data and business analytics spend has increased 12.4% from 2016. Basing investment activity on data equips CIOs with the tools necessary to make informed decisions that will steer the organisation in the right direction.

With that in mind, check out these 5 tools, solutions, and areas of investment that will help CIOs make the most strategic investments for their organisations…in 2018, and beyond:

1. Guess Who? – annotated customer data solutions
CIOs need tools that add context to customer data to form better strategic actions and provide granular insights into demographics. Just like in the classic game of Guess Who? collecting data and building a profile is essential for success. By capturing customer details, CIOs can use data to form profiles, map customer experience by demographics, and identify problem areas in the customer journey. These demographic insights help CIOs make informed, tailored improvements to underperforming areas.

2. LEGO® – seamless integration tools
There is more value in a suite of solutions that seamlessly slot together than in an assortment of siloed solutions. Data needs to be used to its maximum potential. And CIOs need data analytic tools that integrate, fit perfectly, and feed into other systems (like CRM systems) to speed up operations. A single LEGO® brick doesn’t provide much stimulation, but a series of carefully structured LEGO® bricks can build something inspiring. The same can be said for integration tools that feed data into complementing systems to create valuable insights.

3. X-ray goggles – data visualisation tools
Gathering data and insights that will help shape a company’s activity is a core responsibility for CIOs, but presenting these insights can sometimes feel like trying to communicate through a concrete wall. Whilst current technology hasn’t turned our childhood dreams of x-ray goggles into reality, there are solutions that will help CIOs visualise and communicate research, data, and insights into an easily digestible format. CIOs need clear visualisation of data to help illustrate business concepts, support business proposals, and speed up strategic decision-making.

4. Stretch Armstrong – scalable analytic tools
The role of a CIO is to lead an organisation – using data, information, and insights to fuel executive decisions. CIOs need tools that can scale and adapt to changing business needs, stretching and shrinking, like Stretch Armstrong, when and where necessary. It is extremely important that CIOs invest in solutions that can be tailored — and not in solutions that will prove obsolete at the slightest pivot in strategic direction.

5. Magic 8 Ball – historic and real-time data forecasting tools
An essential skill for any successful CIO is the ability to identify a trend, learn from the insights, and apply the findings into their own organisation’s offering. We may not have crystal balls, but predictive and forecasting technology has come a long way. With access to historic and real-time data, CIOs can track, monitor, and accurately forecast business activities and plan accordingly. Sophisticated forecasting tools offer a strategic advantage and help with the allocation of resources. CIOs need these analysis tools to make informed forecasts based on past and current data points.

Deck the halls with data
While data sets might not seem like the most obvious of holiday presents, their value is clear: to maintain a strategic advantage, CIOs must be diligent in looking at innovative solutions that can improve efficiencies and organisational productivity. By offering best practices and recommending creative solutions that are backed by data, CIOs will not only strengthen their organisation’s position in market, but their own position within their organisation. Happy holidays, CIOs! May the season bring you a data wonderland!