• Meta Brown


    This is some pretty extreme evolution that you’re suggesting. I can appreciate that organizations need leadership to provide thoughtful data insights – analysis – but why on earth would you see that as the role for those with a history in the CIO role? Most CIOs have little or no training or experience in statistics, data mining or any other field of analytical mathematics. Insights is intimately tied to marketing, another topic that is not up the CIO’s alley. The Insights function should be led by someone who has knowledge of the end customers of the business – CIOs don’t have that.

    In fact, much of the worst advice about analytics comes out of IT departments, where valuable data is habitually discarded by staff who think they know what they’re doing and nobody will ever need that data. I see this all the time – so often that I have written articles (like this one = The CEO Wants Analytics: Now What? http://bit.ly/smartdata020) and given talks for IT people around the country, hoping to help them kick the bad habits that will surely get them fired when their employer brings in a CMO or a real Customer Insights leader.

    If CIO want jobs, they should get some insights into what their own internal customers want, and make the IT function work so well that businesses stop wanting to outsource or eliminate them.

    Meta Brpwn

  • Thanks @metabrown312 for your insightful comment. I agree with you that Chief Insights Officer should know analytics/statistics. But that is just one skill that is required for the job. More importantly, CIO’s role also involves balancing among competing stake holders in a complex, political environment in an organization – any one who has worked on a large IT project can vouch for this. Current generation of CIOs have this skill. So it is important to know statistics, it is equally important if not more to work with different groups in any organization and make them agree on a common approach to a solution. A person trained in statistics can be a great aid to CIO – but that doesn’t quality him for chief insights officer position based just on his/her stat skills.

    Thanks again for your comment,

    Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.