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FCW : March 15, 2014
lining business processes. Some of the CIOs interviewed report that they are now focusing on identi- fying opportunities to streamline and re-engineer their business processes through investments in data manage- ment. These CIOs are focusing on process management as a vehicle to gain support from stakeholders, both internal and external. 5. CIOs do not anticipate signi cant investments in new technology for big data. Eighty percent of CIOs interviewed report that they would not need to make any significant investments into technology, both hardware and software, during the rst few years of their big-data programs. Instead, they would need to nd more economical and strategic ways of deploying their current information technology assets. 6. CIOs report a need to bolster their human capital, including their ana- lytical capability. CIOs report that they are in the midst of bolstering their human capital through hiring new staff and training existing staff. In almost all cases, however, stagnant or diminishing budgets have severely impacted the capabilities of most public-sector IT units. CIOs report losing talented individuals to the private sector or early retirements. In addition, the inability to send staff for training and skill development has resulted in playing catch-up when it comes to big- data skills. 7. CIOs are now exploring approach- es to data governance. The issue of data governance has been the primary concern for CIOs. All CIOs note that most of the data residing in their information systems is not readily suitable for analysis. Most of the data lacks integrity and could not be easily integrated across systems due to a lack of standardization in data de nitions, and even if data could be integrated, there are security and privacy consider- ations that need to be worked through. 8. CIOs do not recommend IT units as owners of big-data projects. CIOs caution against IT units being the owners or instigators of big-data proj- ects. Instead, they believe that senior management support is necessary for success. While [that] may be a require- ment for most IT projects, CIOs say the complexity, transformational nature and upfront investments mean active senior management involvement is absolutely essential for big-data projects. 9. CIOs believe that collaborative leadership is crucial for the success of big-data projects. CIOs report creating interdepartmental or interagency working groups for big- data projects. These working groups brought together key organizational stakeholders to move the project ahead. CIOs also rely heavily on their pro- fessional networks as they traverse the uncharted waters of big data. Most CIOs report checking in with their peers in other agencies to seek out information and insight. Based on our limited sample of interviews, we did nd that CIOs who are more con- nected to their professional communi- ties (e.g., they speak at industry confer- ences, are named by other interviewees as standout exemplars, etc.) are further along in their big-data efforts. 10. CIOs are becoming champions of analytics and evidence-driven decision-making. This is a role that many of the CIOs did not envision for themselves but one with which they are getting increasing- ly comfortable. Given that most public agencies have been in uenced by the trends of open government, CIOs have had to become stewards and dissemi- nators of data. ■ March 15, 2014 FCW.COM 23 Open data plus crowdsourcing has forced us to ask tough questions. If citizens can analyze data and build apps to bene t their communities and citizens, then what are we doing? I do not have a single staff member who knows how to run simple regressions.... We can be the installers of tools rather easily, but then who is going to train employees [outside IT]?
March 30, 2014