So, you have a data lake, and nobody is swimming in it – what’s wrong?

28 Jun

So, you have a data lake, and nobody is swimming in it – what’s wrong?

MARC DOWD (Principal, Client Advisory)

This week, I have been talking to CIOs about their data infrastructure. Very impressive some of it is too. Mainly from a technological perspective with petabytes of data spread across multiple locations and all consolidated to a central point


The question I have been asking is what do you use it for? The answer seems to vary between reporting and enabling decision making to a sort of quizzical look and a “don’t ask me that” shyness. Maybe it is the amount spent vs the business benefit equation that is upsetting?

I think, and this is backed up by the IDC research, that the use of data is changing. In what we call “Thriving” organisation we see a focus on data being used not only for historical reporting but to drive automated decision making. Pre-emptive process change and even customer value chains driven by real-time analytics are realistically possible today. Do you do that?

One of the real barriers to using data differently is, it seems, cultural. Most companies have an abundance of data and only use a very small proportion of it. What is lacking is that push into understanding the power of dynamic data. That is not an “IT thing” it’s a “business thing”. But maybe it is part of the CIOs role to make the use of information widespread – not just focus on gathering and storing it.

Marc Dowd is the principal for IDC’s European client advisory practice. Marc has over 25 years of experience working with the leaders of corporate IT across a wide range of industries. Marc Dowd is leveraging his knowledge of emerging technology and significant experience of boosting company success through innovation and technology alignment to support technology leaders move to new and accelerated DX driven business models. This includes experience gained from industry-specific service and solution development to broader support for technology and innovation implementation and optimisation via personal advisory to individual leaders, workshops and moderating executive events.


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