FEATURE6 March 2019

Big data baffles the boardroom

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Data analytics Features Impact

Top execs know big data is helping their businesses, but they are invariably baffled by it and stuck in an old-school mentality about decision-making. Ben Bold reports on a new study into the current boardroom mindset.


Big data has the power to disrupt and to enable deeply granular insight that can transform the way companies do business – from how they market to prospective and existing customers to how much revenue they generate. Gathered and exploited properly, big data equals big returns.
So it’s perhaps surprising to hear that those at the top – the CEOs, financial directors and chief operating officers – are still scratching their heads over it. In this so-called digital era, where big data is being woven into the very fabric of business, that’s a worrying notion.

Yet it’s the key takeout from a report Big Data, Big Decisions: The Impact of Big Data on Board Level Decision-making, co-authored by academics from institutions including Brunel University London and Coventry University.

Behind closed doors

While big data is widely discussed at a societal level, and in terms of its implications for business relationships, the report’s authors felt a light needed to be shone ...