Data is everywhere. Every single interaction that a customer has with an organization, irrespective of the channel, is translated into nuggets of information, which, if used properly, can make the difference between the right and the wrong decision.

However, many companies are being afflicted by the "data-rich but insights-poor" problem. They have a lot of information but have not yet cracked the code that will allow them to translate their data deluge into the required actionable insights that will help their organizations succeed. "It's a quandary for organizations," notes Mark Ledbetter, SAP's global vice president for retail strategy. Burberry's John Douglas, experienced this first hand and during SAP's 2012 Sapphire Now said that the company's then CEO, Angela Ahrendts, had changed Douglas' title from Chief Information Officer to Chief Technology Officer. The reason, according to Douglas, was that he "never gave her information, just technology." But Ledbetter notes that the company has taken big strides forward to centralize its data and have a more holistic view of its customers.

With so much data in hand, organizations need a responsible figure that can bring data into the boardroom for the C-suite to understand and make decisions on. "Data is helping to bring the customer into the boardroom," notes Steven Ramirez, CEO of Beyond The Arc. This, notes Brian Koma, Verint's vice president for research and enterprise management, is a central role for the CIO and should remain one of his main concerns. "Some companies have been collecting data for so long that they don't know what they have," he notes. Therefore, assigning data-specific responsibilities will help the heads of different departments understand what data the company has and what they can do to leverage it for business improvements.