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The Emergence of Chief Digital Officers

The emergence of social media in business, along with related digital initiatives, is causing more organizations to appoint a chief digital officer, or CDO in the C-suite. While the position was initially found in media, education, and retail, an increasing number of industries of all types are considering the position to consolidate and focus its social and other digital activities. Many feel that the CDO needs to report directly to the CIO, but that reporting relationship may not fit all cases.

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Predicting the Performance of Analytics Talent

The surprising finding that 55% of big data analytics projects are abandoned comes from a recent survey of 300 IT professionals. The most significant challenge with analytics projects, according to the survey? Finding talent. Most (80%) of the respondents said that the top two reasons analytics projects fail is that managers lack the right expertise in house to “connect the dots” around data to form appropriate insights, and projects lack of business context around data.

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Reimagining the Possible with Data Analytics? Some Answers to Your Questions

During our webinar, we described those characteristics that define each group, and what your organization can do to become more like Analytical Innovators — if you’re not there already (in a poll, 13% of audience members identified themselves as Analytical Innovators).

As the hour-long webinar came to a close, we found that there were far more questions than we had time to answer. And we also found that there were far too many intriguing questions to let them go unanswered.

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What Can Managers Learn about Social Media from the Boston Marathon Bombing?

Now that the crisis and chaos of the Boston Marathon bombings and the hunt for the suspects have passed, managers can consider the critical role that social media played in identifying and apprehending the bombers. Key management lessons can be gleaned from these awful events: (1) recognize what is possible for your organization and (2) effective collaboration is a learned skill that, with time and leadership, can improve productivity for a significant number of employees.

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Managing Risks, Creating Opportunities from Ecosystem Change

Most businesses depend on ecosystem services somewhere in their supply chain. Most don’t fully recognize the risk that environmental degradation poses to business. However, the Corporate Ecosystem Services Review 2.0 tool offers a 5-step process that helps managers develop strategies to deal with the risks — and opportunities — that develop from ecosystem changes.

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Can CIOs Step Up and Be Leaders in Social Media?

CIOs support social business and want to increase their knowledge about social media in the enterprise, but they face barriers to expanding their role. One of the big challenges is the increase in the IT capabilities and resources of the CMO as more digital tools are used in marketing functions. The roles of the CIO and CMO may be blurring, so the future of the CIO as a leader in social business is uncertain.

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CMOs Using Social Data to Flex Their Muscle

Recent studies show that CMOs are highly involved and supportive of the use of social media for their function, and are enthusiastic about its potential role it may play throughout the entire business as well. This strong and growing relationship between CMOs and social media data may be leading to a growing influence and strength among CMOs in the C-suite and throughout the enterprise.

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Competitive Advantage with Data? Maybe … Maybe Not

IBM chairman, president and CEO Virginia Rometty has been making the rounds of late — in February she spoke at the annual IBM investor briefing; in March to the Council on Foreign Relations — espousing a bold new future built upon big data.

At the investors’ meeting, Rometty said that big data — defined as data streaming in to the worlds’ organizations from cloud, mobile and social networks (and presumably mingled with enterprise data) — will be the basis of competitive advantage for every company and every industry for the next decade.

Image courtesy of Official U.S. Navy Imagery/Flickr.
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Designing for Resilience

Designing for resilience can ensure that critical systems continue to operate despite increasing threats. The focus of any organization concerned with resilience should be on whatever assures the continuity of business operations and the systems in which they’re embedded. By defining a critical system — its components, boundaries, and functions — managers can begin to use “what-if” scenarios to determine which components, or combination of components, are most vulnerable.

Jon Bidwell
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Redesigning Innovation at Chubb

As new markets emerge, large multinationals can find it hard to respond to them quickly. In the mid-2000s, specialty insurer Chubb felt it needed to move faster, both in its product development and in the way it responded to questions and issues field representatives had. Chubb integrated multiple social media tools into a social business platform that has improved response time. It also has held more than 50 online innovation gatherings, yielding several successful new businesses.

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CFOs’ Anti-Social Tendencies may be Changing

Research from the MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte showed that only 13.5% of CFOs support social business. There are logical reasons why this may be so, such as the need for this profession to scrutinize costs, look for ROI, and an uncertain benefit for the CFO function. However some in the profession are urging CFOs to be more open and see the financial payoff of a social business. Recent data shows that the reluctance among CFOs to support social business may be declining.

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Analytics and Intuition: Finding Equilibrium

Just before the New Year, New York Times writer Steve Lohr wrote a blog, Big Data is Great. But So Is Intuition, which addresses a question we here at MIT Sloan Management Review have been researching for the past year: With the growing potential of data and analytics, where is the shifting line between analytics and intuition?

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What Do Senior Managers Really Want to Know About Social Media?

A study by the Conference Board and the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University analyzed social media usage by senior executives and board members. Its findings offer insights as to why senior staff bring in a consultant or expert to educate staff. A total of 32% of those surveyed said they had done so and explained the reasons why. Many did so to learn about LinkedIn; others wanted to learn about using social media for promotion, developing rules, communication and more.

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B2Bs Can Be Social Too

A research report titled “The Use of Social Media in B2B Marketing and Branding: An Exploratory Study” studied tech companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia and found that several B2B companies were using social media strategically to position themselves as thought leaders, drive the market, and build key relationships with stakeholders. The researchers found that B2B firms in the U.S. were leaders in this area but found that adoption of these tools by B2B firms is “by no means universal.”

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Is Viral Marketing a Myth?

That ideas can go viral is now a given in corporate marketing. But new research suggests the term “viral” marketing does not describe well what happens in the market.

Sharad Goel, senior researcher at Microsoft Research, and fellow researchers wanted to see whether messages spread via social networks virally, “like the common cold, some sort of biological contagion. One person gets infected and their friend gets infected and a friend of their friend gets infected.”
That wasn’t what Goel found.

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Love, Analytics and The Biology of You at Work

Image courtesy of Flickr user barbtrek

Romantic love, big data analytics and…your personality at work? There is a correlation. And understanding it could help you communicate better with colleagues, bosses and clients. And get ahead.

A biological anthropologist and professor at Rutgers University, Helen Fisher has studied romantic love for thirty years.

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MIT SMR to unveil new site

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MIT Sloan Management Review is preparing to launch a redesigned version of our desktop/laptop website, coming in a few weeks. Watch our video for a sneak peek.

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