‘Big data’ is definitely a buzzword that is passed around a lot in businesses today and it is a term that should be on your radar. If you haven’t heard of it before, big data is all about using the vast amounts of data that are now available to you to improve the effectiveness of your business.
Although big data can help your business become more efficient and profitable, there are a number of practical challenges to successful implementation. Below, we’re going to take a look at how the relationship between the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) can have an effect on the success of big data projects.
Why your CTO and CMO need to work together
As with any new project, it’s important to have buy-in from managers at the top and further down the organisation. However for big data, it’s important to make sure your CTO and CMO can work together and cooperate in acquiring, presenting, interpreting and using the data.
Previously, your marketing team may have taken charge of managing customer data, with the IT team monitoring the system in the background. However, as the importance of big data continues to increase, this divide is no longer the case.
Although marketing continues to promote business growth, they now need the IT team to help them implement the right analytical tools. CMO’s have a wealth of data from which they need to pull insights for business analytics, while the CTO has experience in developing IT systems and is therefore needed to create a data structure that can generate the necessary insights. The IT team will need to work closely with the marketing team to make sure that all of their functional requirements are met, and elements are prioritised against the available budget.
The CTO and CMO working together shouldn’t just be a temporary measure, either. As data becomes more important, and more data becomes available to businesses, this is an arrangement that needs to work well for the long term.
How to make the relationship work
Businesses are investing lots of money in big data, so it’s important that the marketing and IT teams work well together to maximise the return on investment.
Just because it’s important to work well together doesn’t mean it will be easy to make the adjustment to this new inter-departmental dependency. There may also be tension surrounding who makes decisions, who controls the budget, who is accountable for each element of a certain project, and other such scenarios.
How can you make the relationship work? Here are a number of things to consider:
- Make sure that expectations of big data are clear so that there is transparency from the start, with both teams working towards the same goal
- IT teams and marketing teams should sit together to define the exact requirements and functionality
- Make sure to set up structures for the decision making process
- For projects, select well-balanced teams that can deal with large sets of data, but are also able to interpret and analyse the data
- Schedule regular and effective reporting and review sessions
- Educate and train staff to enable them to cooperate better
- Put strategies in place for IT and marketing teams to build a strong working relationship; many choose to do this with team-building events
These methods should help to bring your teams onto the same page right from the start. This is particularly important on big data projects, where marketing and IT services need to cooperate to deliver the best possible results for the business.
About the author:
Phil Bickerton, Sales Manager at Saxons Group.
Saxons Group is comprised of Saxons IT Solutions, Saxons Learning Solutions and Saxons Training Facilities. The three businesses work together to provide end-to-end business IT implementation, from managed services and support to staff training and development.