From our interviews with executives, one of the biggest areas of concern and interest was identifying how to optimally organize Big Data activities in a company. We used the online survey to shed light on this question, too. (See Exhibit II-16) We asked respondents to tell us in which function their Big Data professionals resided1:
- Those who processed the data: The most frequent response (by 45% of the respondents) was in the IT function. Some 28% said analysts were in the business functions that used the data to make decisions. And the smallest percentage (24%) said they were organized in a separate Big Data group.
- Those who analyzed the data: Here the most frequent response was in the business functions that used the data (42%). In 30% of the companies, the analysts were in the IT function; and in 25% of the companies, they were in a separate Big Data group.
However, there were some large regional differences. Most notably, Asia-Pacific companies were more likely to have Big Data professionals (for both processing and analysis of data) in a separate group while U.S. companies were least likely to do this. Latin American companies were more likely to outsource Big Data processing and analytics to external companies, although only 7% said this was where their Big Data expertise was located.
Exhibit II-16: Where Big Data Professionals Reside in Companies
Q19 &20: Where Companies place their Big Data Proffessionals (By Percentage of Companies)
From our interviews, we heard that a number of analytics groups were located in the IT function. A $2 billion industrial manufacturer’s three full-time analytics professionals were part of the IT group, reporting to the Chief Information Officer. The company also has analysts in each business unit (at least one per unit).
A large hospitality company has two advanced analytics groups: one that works for the Chief Marketing Officer, and the other for a group that reports to the Chief Operating Officer and focuses on hotel operations. In addition, the company has small analytics teams in business units and functions. However, these professionals do not work on advanced analytics.
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Internet-Centric Companies are Furthest Ahead in Big Data
- We must stress that these percentages are percentages of companies that put their Big Data professionals in one of the three functions (IT, business functions or an analytics group). The percentages are not how the average company divides up its Big Data staff in these three areas. [↩]