Where are the Chief Data Officers?

Which is more amazing? Nate Sliver of the NY Times correctly predicting 50 out of 50 states in the 2012 presidential election. Or that we haven’t seen several thousand announcements of companies hiring a Chief Data Officer after watching Nate Silver go 50 for 50.

Check out this NY Times interview with Nate Silver (video). Do conversations about data at your company sound like that?

Trulia has a Chief Economist. His entire job is to “transform real estate data… into digestible insights for home buyers, sellers, and renters.” Does your company have someone whose sole mission is to make data meaningful to your customers?

Netflix publicly offered $1 million to anyone or any team that could improve their movie recommendation algorithm. Essentially, their viability as a business depends on their ability to analyze data.

Allstate hosted a public competition to predict liability for injury for holders of auto policies. The result was a 271% improvement in their ability to correctly determine liability.

Allstate is now hosting a competition to better determine which of their policyholders are likely to renew and which are likely to leave. No long business requirements document. No specs. No enterprise data warehouse. Just 3 months and data that would fit on a $20 thumb drive to turn data into revenue.

So, if data is a key ingredient for business viability, if there are opportunities to use data to improve your business at the expense of your competitors, why aren’t there more Chief Data Officers?

About The Author

Nathan Wenzel is a founding partner at business intelligence and analytics firm, Edge Solutions, where he works with some really smart people to help clients make sense of their data and improve their business.

1 Comment

  1. Companies haven’t caught on to the fact that data is an asset. Give it 12-24 months.

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