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Big Data is Big Challenge for Some CIOs

Big data is not without big obstacles for some CIOs. In a survey from Robert Half Technology, 76 percent of CIOs (chief information officers) said their companies don't presently gather customer data such as demographics or buying habits. Less than one in four (23 percent) executives interviewed for the study said their firms do collect this type of information. Among those that do, more than half (53 percent) said they lack sufficient staff to access customer data, and generate reports and other business insights from it.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a provider of information technology (IT) professionals on a project and full-time basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees.

CIOs were asked, "Does your company collect customer data, such as email addresses, demographics, buying habits and so on?" Their responses:

  • No - 76%

  • Yes - 23%

  • Don't know - 2%

  • CIOs who answered "yes" to the question above were asked, "Does your technology team have sufficient personnel to access and generate strategic reports and insights from the customer data your organization collects?" Their responses:

  • No - 53%

  • Yes - 46%

  • Don't know - 2%

  • For companies looking to fill big-data positions, following are job descriptions and salary ranges for the most in-demand jobs in the field, according to the Robert Half Technology 2013 Salary Guide:

    1. Business intelligence analysts assist firms in making critical business decisions by gathering and analyzing data to better target marketing efforts. Starting salaries for these professionals will range from $94,250 to $132,500 this year.

    2. Data architects evaluate and translate business requirements into specific database solutions (e.g., data design models, database architecture and data repository designs). These professionals are forecast to see starting salaries ranging from $104,250 to $143,500 in 2013.

    3. Data warehouse analysts collect, analyze and leverage a firm's stored data, and devised solutions that make it easier to access. Data warehouse analysts can expect starting salaries ranging from $93,500 to $126,500 this year.
    [Full Article]   Feb-17-2013


    Survey Reveals Most Wanted Office Perks and what Motivates Workers to Stay with Companies

    If you could have one perk - any perk - in your workplace, what would it be? If you had the choice, would you rather have a bigger title or a bigger office? If you were thinking about leaving your company, what would make you stay? A new CareerBuilder survey explores which job factors are most important to today’s workers. More than 3,900 full-time workers nationwide participated in the survey conducted online by Harris Interactive from November 1 to November 30, 2012.

    Nearly one-third of employers (32 percent) reported that top performers left their organizations in 2012 and 39 percent are concerned that they’ll lose top talent in 2013. While most workers (66 percent) stated that they are generally satisfied with their jobs, one in four (25 percent) said they will change jobs in 2013 or 2014.

    How important is title?

    While upward mobility is a key factor in job satisfaction and employee retention, having a certain title isn’t important to more than half of workers (55 percent). The vast majority (88 percent) reported that salary matters more. Other factors that outrank job title in what is most important to workers are:

  • Flexible schedule – 59 percent

  • Being able to make a difference – 48 percent

  • Challenging work – 35 percent

  • Ability to work from home – 33 percent

  • Academic reimbursement – 18 percent

  • Having an office – 17 percent

  • Company car – 14 percent

  • Do perks matter?

    Twenty-six percent of workers said that providing special perks is an effective way to improve employee retention. When asked to identify one perk that would make their workplace more satisfying, early dismissals, convenient gym access and casual dress scored highest:

    1) Half-day Fridays – 40 percent
    2) On-site fitness center – 20 percent
    3) Ability to wear jeans – 18 percent
    4) Daily catered lunches – 17 percent
    5) Massages – 16 percent
    6) Nap room – 12 percent
    7) Rides to and from work – 12 percent
    8) Snack cart that comes around the office – 8 percent
    9) Private restroom – 7 percent
    10) On-site daycare – 6 percent

    What ultimately entices workers to stay with a company?

    Not surprising, the majority of workers (70 percent) reported that increasing salaries is the best way to boost employee retention while 58 percent pointed to better benefits. Other actions workers said employers should take to reduce voluntary turnover include:

  • Provide flexible schedules – 51 percent

  • Increase employee recognition (awards, cash prizes, company trips) – 50 percent

  • Ask employees what they want and put feedback into action – 48 percent

  • Increase training and learning opportunities – 35 percent

  • Hire additional workers to ease workloads – 22 percent

  • Provide academic reimbursement – 22 percent

  • Carve out specific career paths and promote more – 21 percent

  • Institute a more casual dress code – 14 percent

  • [Full Article]   Feb-10-2013


    Improved Proactive Care, Mobile Self-Service Tools Can Increase Service Provider Net Promoter Scores

    Amdocs, a provider of customer experience systems and services, announced the findings of a global consumer survey that explores the link between proactive care tools, customer satisfaction and call center traffic.

    The survey revealed that the vast majority of customers would recommend their service provider to family and friends if they received relevant, proactive notifications from their provider and had simple self-service apps on their mobile device. Conducted by analyst firm Coleman Parkes, the survey found that in addition to helping to increase customer satisfaction, the measures could also decrease call center traffic.

    Key survey findings include:

  • Proactive services and self-care can improve NPS: 84 percent of consumers said they would be more likely to recommend their service provider if the provider was able to identify and pre-emptively resolve potential issues affecting them; 83 percent said they would be more likely to recommend their provider if they were offered easy-to-use and consistent self-service via their mobile device

  • Consumers willing to embrace proactive care and self-service: 83 percent said they would follow proactive notification instructions, rather than call the contact center, to resolve issues affecting them individually; 76 percent would use a mobile app rather than call the contact center

  • Current proactive notifications and self-service tools ineffective and can increase call center traffic: 73 percent of consumers said proactive notifications at present were not useful; and 24 percent of all notifications resulted in a call to the contact center, adding to costs instead of reducing them. Of the consumers who use mobile self-service apps, 78 percent said they are hard to use

  • Lack of consistency, personalization in consumer interactions with service provider: 65 percent of consumers said their service provider does not know them and fails to provide a personalized service during interactions; only 17 percent said they receive a consistent response across channels from their service provider

  • Poor experience holds consumers back from mobile shopping: 72 percent of consumers have attempted to purchase a product or service online but 51 percent abandoned the purchase as it was too complicated; 79 percent said they would be more likely to complete an online purchase if they could switch between channels to continue transactions

  • [Full Article]   Feb-10-2013


    PwC's 2013 Top 10 Technology Trends for Business Report Reveals the Emerging and Disruptive Technologies that are Reshaping Strategies, Business Model

    In its 2013 Top 10 Technology Trends for Business report released today, PwC US reveals the most significant trends in technology that are reshaping strategies, business models, and enterprise investments this year. According to PwC, 10 significant trends will impact businesses this year:

    1. Pervasive Computing: The ability to digitally engage and interact (via your mobile devices) with enabled objects around you

    2. Cyber Security: Continues to be a pressing issue, as technology enabled processes increasingly underpin and fuel the global economy

    3. Big Data Mining & Analysis: More than managing dizzying amounts of data faster and cheaper; it is about making better business decisions

    4. Private Cloud: Due to security and regulatory concerns, larger enterprises have been primarily operating in a trial mode of private/hybrid clouds and this will change in 2013. Consumers of IT are demanding greater value from IT services

    5. Enterprise Social Networking: Becoming a core tool for the new social workforce; the key insight for organizations succeeding in building value from this technology is social business processes redesign

    6. Digital Delivery of Products & Services: Customers are driving companies of all shapes and sizes to develop new, technology-based ways of delivering value. Digital delivery of products and services can open tremendous new pathways for growth, but companies must shift their underlying business operations to support this new business model

    7. Public Cloud Infrastructure: Cloud adoption will continue to mature with hybrid cloud architecture becoming the mainstay as companies of all sizes leverage public cloud services

    8. Data Visualization: Leading edge companies will explore dynamic virtualization techniques and advanced display devices to navigate through multiple dimensions of data

    9. Simulation & Scenario Modeling: Organizations are increasingly focusing on simulation models that enable executives to envision the potential impact of their choices before making investments

    10. Gamification: With its combination of game mechanics, social networking, interactive media and behavioral analytics, gamification can transform a business
    [Full Article]   Feb-03-2013


    Businesses that Capitalize on Consumer Behavior Change are Better Positioned to Outperform Economic Growth, Finds Accenture

    Global businesses that capitalize on major changes in consumer behavior can generate significant growth over the next few years, according to a new report from Accenture.

    The report, entitled “Energizing Global Growth: Understanding the Changing Consumer,” concludes that companies able to capitalize on these changes with speed and agility could capture a portion of the trillions of dollars in growth that businesses globally are likely to see over the next few years as the result of changing consumer behaviors. Accenture estimates that just 20 sectors most associated with these changes are set to enjoy growth of US$2.4 trillion by 2016.

    The report is based on four individual studies: an online survey of 10,000 consumers in 10 countries across five continents; a survey of 600 business executives in those same 10 countries; an assessment of the world’s top 3,000 listed companies by market capitalization and their revenue growth compared with the industry averages over various timeframes; and a macroeconomic analysis conducted in conjunction with Oxford Economics to assess the impact of changing consumer behavior.

    Among the key changes in consumer behavior the report identified:

  • Consumers are increasingly "connected" – often online, interacting with companies and other consumers to research and purchase products, share advice, and praise or criticize a business. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of the consumers surveyed said they use the Internet to research or purchase products or services more than they did three years ago. Consumers are also increasingly using social media as a tool in the purchasing process.

  • Consumers are increasingly "demanding" – seeking products and services customized to meet their specific needs. Approximately two-thirds of consumers surveyed said that it is important to be able to buy what they want when they want it (68 percent) and to be able to customize the product or service to be exactly what they want (63 percent).

  • Consumers are increasingly "conscientious" – seeking sustainable goods and services, they are focused on where and how their products are made and on doing business with companies that make a positive social and/or environmental impact. Half (51 percent) of consumers surveyed said they consider the environmental impact of the product or manufacturer before purchasing a product more often than they did three years ago.

  • Accenture also found that while nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of business executives said that consumer behavior has changed markedly in the last three years, a similar proportion (74 percent) said they do not fully understand the consumer changes that are under way – and even more (80 percent) said they believe that their companies are not taking full advantage of the opportunities these changes present.

  • Recommendations for Capitalizing on Consumer Behavior Changes

    The report makes recommendations on how companies can achieve growth and outperform competitors by effectively addressing changing consumer behavior, taking their lead from “growth leaders” in their industries:

  • Invest in advanced analytics tools – and the relevant workforce skills – to assess these changes and interpret consumer data. Armed with such data, companies will be better equipped to enhance the consumer experience with more-tailored customer service. For instance, the analytics program of a leading media-rental company enables it to recommend movie and TV titles based on an individual consumer’s preferences and rental history.

  • Have the strategic mindset to recognize and adapt to disruptive consumer change and competitive threats. A global car-rental company replicated the business model of new players offering hourly rentals. By meeting disruption head-on, the company has been able to use its scale and scope to reduce the threat of new competition while improving customer service.

  • Put in place "flexible" organizational models that enable the company to be more agile and act quickly. This might entail acquisitions, divestments or partnerships to complement existing capabilities. For instance, a US-based grocer understood at an early stage consumers’ growing emphasis on healthy living and carried out numerous mergers and acquisitions to become a global leader in natural foods.

  • [Full Article]   Feb-03-2013


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