Top of every CIO’s list: Analytics models and governance

Department of Information Systems Chair Raghu Santanam explains the importance of advanced analytics in contemporary business.

By Raghu Santanam, Chair

Department of Information Systems

“Everywhere you look, the quantity of information in the world is soaring. According to one estimate, humanity created 150 exabytes (billion gigabytes) of data in 2005. This year, it will create 1,200 exabytes.” That quote is from a 2010 article in the technology section of The Economist magazine. Many of the observations in that aptly named feature, “The Data Deluge,” remain.

Organizations are getting better at using their data, but there is still a lot of work to do. Many of the organizations that my colleagues and I are working with are struggling to not only keep up with the flood of data and store the useful pieces, but also to analyze it and spot patterns that can be put to use.

In collaboration with our industry partners, we are developing analytic frameworks that deliver business insights of high value to the organization. We are usually focused on predictive and prescriptive analytics in our projects, as that is an area in which we excel — backed by years of experience building advanced analytic models that use mathematical, statistical, econometric, and machine-learning techniques.

In addition to developing advanced analytics models, there is also an urgent need for analytics governance. Resource-constrained IT organizations are often asked to lead and support business units in analytics projects. If left unchecked, IT organizations will overstretch their available resources and eventually underperform expectations of their business units. Therefore, developing a coherent enterprise-wide analytics strategy is on top of every chief information officer’s agenda today. Our information systems faculty has expertise in data-driven strategy as well.

In fact, Professor Michael Goul, who is the associate dean of faculty and research for the W. P. Carey School of Business, will address how organizations can tame the “Wild West” of big data and analytics at the upcoming Executive Advisory Board meeting on December 2.

Until then, here’s to a happy Thanksgiving.