Happy Spring! Since this is a season of new beginnings, and new growth, we invite you to a discussion of one of the new frontiers. With Marketing tilting onto a digital- and mobile-first axis, one of the newest, hottest frontiers is Analytics-driven by Big Data and Machine Learning.
Boards are pushing CEOs to invest in advanced technologies to better analyze the wealth of customer, employee and business data already residing inside large, legacy databases.
We are placing a greater number of Chief Analytics Officers, and in partnership with CTOs and CFOs, these CAOs are being tasked to develop and apply advanced analytics to improve decision-making enterprise-wide.
Machine learning, similar in concept to IBM’s Watson, is a branch of artificial intelligence that enabled machines to learn on their own, thereby enabling them to optimize and create new algorithms for predictive analytics, and similar regression analyses, leading to improved sales and marketing results, better hiring decisions, and improved operational efficiencies and safety/security performance.
In “The Rise of Machine Learning,” an article by Dale Buss in Chief Executive magazine (March/April 2016), Mike Tuchen, CEO of Talend, points out “it’s the speed and ability to learn from data that gives Machine Learning the power to provide tremendous insights in ways that humans could never do on their own or with basic business intelligence tools.” Computers essentially write their own code and optimize algorithms enabling them to uncover previously unseen patterns and trends in large-scale databases…..leading to breakthrough business insights and real-time performance optimization.
This next level of analytics and big data innovation is both exciting and yet simultaneously unnerving for CEOs and corporate cultures trying to create the environments necessary to attract and retain this next generation of young technologists who are game changers in the new artificial intelligence age of analytics.
At a recent CEO Roundtable, several CEOs shared it’s easier to find the new talent for Innovation and R&D Centers, but it’s harder to retain them as they look for greener pastures and new frontiers after 1-2 years. According to Gool Sanchurn, CEO of Envipco, “That happens no matter what compensation you give them.”
Nonetheless, now is the time for CEOs to make these investments in Analytics, Big Data & Machine Learning. According to surveys by Accenture, 53% of companies pursuing these investments are following directives from Board Directors. And while cost cuts and improved efficiencies represent 49% of CEO expectations for return on investment, 30% of CEOs (and growing) are expecting new businesses and new revenue growth as the primary outcome.
Where does your company stand in relation to the new frontier? Are you investing, thinking about investing, or hoping the next Amazon does not show up in your sector to begin disintermediation?
As always, we welcome your thoughts and comments.