Is ‘cognitive’ the magic word to monetize enterprise big data?


As if technical hurdles to making data fit for use weren’t challenging enough, line of business people within enterprises are often clueless about mapping a big data strategy. Is there a single word that can make all the pieces fall into place?

Caitlin Lepech (pictured, right), communications and client engagement executive, Global Chief Data Office at IBM Corp., says it’s “cognitive.” This strategy is working internally for IBM, and it can work for the company’s enterprise customers, she said.

Lepech and Cortnie Abercrombie (pictured, left), cognitive and analytics offerings leader, Global Business Services, at IBM, spoke to Jeff Frick (@JeffFrick) and Peter Burris (@plburris), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, during the IBM Chief Data Officer Strategy Summit in San Francisco, California. (*Disclosure below.) 

Companies often allow timelines of 18 to 24 months to map a big data strategy, Lepech explained. But the pace of change in business and technology is much faster than that. “You don’t have 18 months to come to a data strategy and get it by and get it implemented,” she said.

To get there faster, companies need to ask a single question: What is the end goal of our work with data?

“For us, it’s becoming a cognitive business. So … it’s selecting projects that we can infuse cognition [into] the quickest way, so Client 360 for example,” she said, referring to IBM’s strategy of gaining a full understanding of customers and what makes them tick.

CDO osmosis effect

Doing this quickly requires cohesion between IT and line of business people that has been lacking in enterprises, historically, said Abercrombie.

“And that’s where the chief data officer kicks into gear and is very creative and actually brings a whole new mindset to the person,” she said. The CDO combines insight from people on both sides and acts as an intermediary between them.

Toward the goal of going cognitive, the CDO can delineate a long-term holistic vision, as well as allocate short-term jobs to IT and business people to help realize it, Abercrombie added.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the IBM Chief Data Officer Strategy Summit. (*Disclosure: IBM and other companies sponsor some IBM CDO Strategy Summit segments on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE. Neither IBM nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE