Encouraging users to embrace big business data

Members from the CIO Executive Council weigh in on encouraging users to embrace big business data. Add your opinion and advice below.

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An exclusive series by the CIO Executive Council

SCENARIO: Managing change across a newly information-based company


Christian Anschuetz, CIO, Underwriters Laboratories (See profile)

We are a storied non-profit brand. Our seal is on more than 26 billion products in more than 100 countries, and the culture that enables the processes behind this service is entrenched. But now we are moving into a new era as a for-profit company that will be driven by focusing on both customers and products, and on providing valuable information. We need all of our 9,000-plus employees to become information workers who know how to work with the vast amounts of data we hold and who are comfortable with having the discretion to use it. That requires fundamental changes.

The company brought me in to modernize not just the technology, but also how we use it and think about it. Many people are attached to their paper, even when they are active users of smartphones and laptops. Earlier this year, I gave the board iPads and took away their paper. Within months, they were using the tablets to share information and create value in ways they couldn’t before. The employee base is much larger, and I can’t focus one-on-one there. So I’ve instituted a policy that says digital literacy must be part of promotion requirements companywide. I‘ve also started explaining that technology’s role is to amplify individuals’ abilities. But this is going to be a long road.


Sounding Board's Discussion Points:

Change management – Business intelligence – Advanced analytics

PEER COUNSEL:

Understand the effect on the individual

Wayne Shurts, CIO, Supervalu

(See profile)

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